President Muhammadu Buhari said on Saturday that his administration has achieved a lot in its six years, and that more developments are still to come.
The president stated this in a nation-wide speech to commemorate the occasion of Democracy Day in Nigeria.
The president said his administration was also addressing the twin underlying drivers of insecurity, which are poverty and youth unemployment, noting that interventions by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over the past six years to drive economic growth, were targeted mostly to the agricultural, services, infrastructure, power and health care sectors of the economy.
He also said in the Agricultural sector, the Anchor Borrowers Programme resulted in a sharp decline in the nation’s major food import bill from $2.23 billion in 2014 to $0.59 billion by the end of 2018.
Also, he noted that the rice import bill alone dropped from $1 billion to $18.5 million annually, as the initiative supported local production of rice, maize, cotton, and cassava, while government financed 2.5 million small-holder farmers to cultivate about 3.2 million hectares of farmland all over the country, creating about 10 million direct and indirect jobs.
Buhari said several other initiatives, like the AgriBusiness/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme, the Non-oil Export stimulation Facility, and the Targeted Credit Facilities, operated across the 774 Local Governments in the country.
“In the manufacturing sector, the CBN – BOI N200 billion facility financed the establishment and operations of 60 new industrial hubs across the country, creating an estimated 890,000 direct and indirect jobs.
“The CBN’s N50 billion Textile Sector intervention Facility increased capacity utilization of ginneries from 30 per cent to nearly 90 per cent.
“The Economic Sustainability Plan – our rebound plan for the COVID-19 pandemic developed in 2020 is currently being executed. The plan is primarily focused on the non-oil sector, which has recorded phenomenal growth contributing over 90 per cent to the GDP growth in Q1 2021.
“Though marginal, we have recorded GDP growth over two quarters; Q2 2020 and Q1 2021. This is evidence of successful execution of the ESP by the Federal Government,” Buhari said.
Meanwhile, the president noted that his vision of pulling 100 million poor Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years has been put into action, and can be seen in the National Social Investment Programme, a first in Africa and one of the largest in the world where over 32.6 million beneficiaries are taking part.