“Generally, we were impressed by the outcome of the first three years of the first implementation plans towards the realization of the Vision 2020.”
Despite the security challenges across the country, Nigeria is meeting its target of being among the 20 largest economies in the world by the year 2020, also called Vision 20:2020, the Information Minister, Labaran Maku, has said.
Mr. Maku told journalists on Wednesday after the weekly meeting of the Executive Council of the Federation, FEC, that the Federal Government reviewed the Vision 20:2020 performance, and noted that there was a geometric progression despite the challenges.
He said the Council, presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, was impressed with the overall macro economic performance of the last three years, 2010-2013.
He said the meeting reviewed the key national targets which when implemented will lead to the second national plan, which runs from 2014 to 2017, with the last running from 2017 to 2020.
Mr. Maku noted that the review of the plan between 2010 and 2013 outlined the progress made so far under the current stage of the transformation agenda of the president.
“We deliberated on the achievements, the challenges and we raised questions and issues on the plan which is then taken back because of the questions and issues raised on the data, plans and statistics,” he said. “Generally, we were impressed by the outcome of the first three years of the first implementation plans towards the realization of the Vision 2020.”
“We were impressed with overall macro economic performance in the first three years, which indicated clearly that the Gross Domestic Product, GDP has continued to grow at 7 on the average.
” The statistics reveal clearly that exchange rate was steady between N150 and N160 to the Dollar, with the GDP of $509.9 million, making Nigeria the largest economy in Africa” he said
The minister said Nigeria achieved an inflation rate of 8 per cent on the average, adding that inflation rate fell from 13 per cent during the period to settle at 8 per cent.
He commended Mr. Jonathan for steering he Nigerian ship despite the challenges.
“The President has run the nation with the greatest level of difficulties,” he said.
“Yes, (former president Yakubu) Gowon confronted the civil war, but the kind of crises we have faced in this insurgency with some Nigerians breaking pipe lines etc. But when we see him, we see confidence.
“Look at the money we spent fighting insurgency in the north east, this country would have witnessed a growth rate of up to 10 per cent of the GDP, if it were not for the security challenges,” he said.
The minister called on Nigerians to support the president in his efforts to lift the nation out of its development challenges.
Speaking on the commemoration of this year’s Democracy Day on May 29, Mr. Maku noted that democracy is the best opportunity the country has to launch itself into the top echelon of world economic development.
He added that the nation has enjoyed 15 years of uninterrupted democracy under the largest party in Africa, PDP.
He said the current insecurity has been aggravated by the comments of the opposition All Progressives Congress.
“There is no insurgency in Senegal, Ghana, Togo and Benin Republic. We need to definitely move back to the basis. We must behave better,” he said.