PMB’s Govt Has Exceeded Economic Target – Lai

The federal government yesterday said that available statistics, international reports and indices revealed that the present administration has surpassed its economic target.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who disclosed this at a press conference in Lagos said the various economic recovery and growth plans introduced by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration have not only helped the country to achieve economic stability, but also positioned it on the path of rapid growth.
“I am happy to inform you today that we are winning! Our well-thought-out policy, encapsulated in the Administration’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), launched on April 5th 2017, is working and the results are beginning to show”, he stated.
Flanked by the senior special assistant to the president on Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, Mohammed recalled that in September, the country exited recession, a development that returned Nigeria to the path of growth after five consecutive quarters of contraction.
He reiterated that taking Nigeria out of recession did not happen by accident, adding that it was the culmination of months of hard work by the administration and fidelity to its well-articulated economic policies.
He said, “To show that taking Nigeria out of recession was not a fluke, less than two months later, precisely 31st Oct. 2017, Nigerians got another good news: The country has moved up 24 places, to 145th, in the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business’ report.
“Not only that, for the first time the country is recognized as one of the top 10 most improved economies in the world. This is phenomenal. More importantly, it is the direct result of a well-articulated policy by this Administration”.
Eyes Of Lagos gathered  that, According to him, after the establishment of Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) which is chaired by Vice President Yemi, it took a significant step towards making it easier for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to do business in the country.
The minister explained that PEBEC approved a 60-day National Action Plan on the ease of doing business with clear deliverables and timelines for the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) responsible for implementing each line item in the plan.
Mohammed continued: “Remember that MSMEs, which account for almost half of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), play a key role in the Nigerian economy and employ over 80 percent of the country’s labour force. Therefore, we look up to these enterprises to provide the endless possibilities for Nigeria’s economic growth. We know for sure that if the MSMEs blossom, Nigeria’s economy will thrive.
“This is what PEBEC set out to do, and the result is what you are seeing. Lest I forget, we even surpassed our target. We had hoped to move up 20 places. We beat that by four more to move up 24 places.
“As part of the administration’s efforts to improve Nigeria’s tax to GDP ratio, which currently sits at a paltry 6 percent – one of the lowest in the world – the administration has launched what is called the Nigerian Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme, or VAIDS.
“This provides a time-bound opportunity for taxpayers to regularize their tax status relating to previous tax periods and pay any taxes due. In exchange for fully and honestly declaring previously undisclosed assets and income, taxpayers will benefit from forgiveness of overdue interest and penalties, and the assurance of not facing criminal prosecution for tax offences or tax investigations. As of 31st Oct. 2017, VAIDS has raked in over 200 million Naira and 55 million US dollars”.
He pointed out that for eight consecutive months, headline inflation had been falling, while the foreign exchange reserves are up to $34 billion, from $24 billion a year ago
He also pegged oil production at nearly two million barrels per day, saying it is a significant improvement from 2016 when it was mostly below a million.
The minister noted: “The value of the Naira in the parallel market has appreciated significantly in recent times against the US dollar, and that at about 1.8 billion dollars, the capital inflows in the second quarter of 2017 were almost double the $908 million in the first quarter.
“The bottom line is that as things continue to improve, Nigerians will begin to feel the impact in their daily lives. With the ongoing massive infrastructural development, especially in roads, railways and power, Nigerians will begin to get a new lease on life. Food prices will tumble. Businesses will thrive. More jobs will be created.
“This Administration will not relent in its determined effort to usher in a new dawn for Nigeria. We are winning the battle to revive the economy. We are fighting corruption like never before. We are tackling insecurity with a renewed vigour.  While the naysayers, who are obviously in the minority, persist in their pastime of acting as a distraction, discerning and well-meaning Nigerians will continue to appreciate and encourage the good work of our Administration”.
Also speaking, the SSA to the president on Industry, Trade and Investment, Oduwole, said the World Bank and other economic feats recorded this year was as result of concerted efforts by the federal government and stakeholders working in close collaboration with the National Assembly as well as state governments, particularly Lagos and Kano States and private sectors.
She said the reforms carried out by the government to ensure ease of doing business in the country helped to get the nation back to sound economic footing.
The presidential aide added that the Corporate Affairs Commission had simplified some procedures that were making things difficult for SMEs.
“Talk of paying taxes we now have a lot of payment options with many tax payment points very near to the offices, residence. We also have the ability to take e-payment, e-filling and these are parts of the things the Federal Inland Revenue Services is trying to promote more this year,” she said.

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