•Says $7bn investment in oil, gas sector underway

From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja

Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Mr Wale Edun, on Tuesday, said Nigeria was rapidly-recovering from years of bastardization, attributing it to a cocktail of interventions and policy shifts the Tinubu administration has consistently administered on the economy since it came onboard on May 29, 2023.

Edun, who disclosed this  in Abuja during the sectoral report of President Bola Tinubu’s first year in office, said the federal government has approved an emergency economic plan that would be implemented within the next six months to nurse the country back to sound health.

He further revealed that the oil and gas sector has received approximately $7 billion investment pledge due to the new incentive frameworks introduced by President Bola Tinubu’s administration.

He said: “A fresh intervention approval from Mr. President today is the economic emergency plan for stabilising the economy and to be implemented over the next six months.

“This was put together by the president’s economic team, by the private sector representatives, by the sub-national or the state governments.

“We have all sat together in recent weeks and we had a package from the President’s desk this afternoon for his approval.

“Why it was afternoon was because it was this morning that we got the final clearance from a state governor who had said he wanted the final chance to review  the inputs. With that clearance, we’re now good to go in terms of the major economic plan for r. president to approve”, he explained.

Speaking further, the minister said the government now has enough to clear debts. According to Edun, unlike when the administration came into power, the government did not have enough to pay its way.

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He said through the implementation of technological change and procedures, the revenue of the country has been totally revamped and increased substantially.

“What that means is that the government can now pay its way. The government is paying its debt service without resulting in Ways and Means, particularly international debt service,” the minister said.

Edun also said outstanding payments of $200 million have been made with the Islamic Development Bank in shareholding.

On economic growth, Edun said Nigeria’s economy is experiencing a positive gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 2.98 percent  compared to the 2.3 percent growth seen in the first quarter (Q1) of 2023.

Also speaking at the sectoral assessment, Doris Uzoka-Anite, the minister of industry, trade and investment, said the federal government has attracted $3.5 billion to boost the textile and apparel industry.

Speaking on job creation as part of the mandate of the ministry, Uzoka-Anite said 4,000 people have been matched to jobs across different sectors.

“We launched or established the Renewed Hope Job Centre in collaboration with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) to match available vacancies in industries or businesses with very good talent pools across the country. This is both a physical and digital audition.

“Currently, we are piloting it and we’re able to run it across the country. So far, we have matched 4,000 people to job opportunities.

“Things that do not allow confidence to be built and do not allow Nigerians to have that vital place when they sit at a table and they are pulling money. All those are a thing of the past. They have all been paid out,” he added.

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