The Presidency in Nigeria has in a response to comments by a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Na’Abba, outlined some achievements of the Buhari administration since May 29, 2015.

Ghali Na'Abba had in an interview with a TV presenter, Osasu Igbinedion, vowed not to support Buhari in his bid to be re-elected in the forthcoming presidential election slated for February, 2019.

But a spokesman for the President, Garba Shehu, in his response to the former Speaker appealed that he should take a second look at Muhammadu Buhari administration’s.

He gave a breakdown of these achievements and here are some of them.

  1. Nigeria exited its worst recession in decades. After five quarters of negative growth, the economy bounced back into positive territory. Agriculture was one of the stars of 2017, posting consistent growth levels even throughout the recession.

  2. Also, inflation fell for 10 consecutive months during 2017 (February to November).

  3. The Naira stabilised against the dollar, after the Central Bank introduced a new Forex window for Investors and Exporters. The stability has attracted billions of dollars in portfolio investments since April 2017.

  4. On the back of a stable Naira and increased investment inflows, Nigeria’s stock market emerged one of the best-performing in the world, delivering returns in excess of 40 per cent.
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  6. Nigeria saw bumper food harvests, especially in rice, whose local production continues to rise significantly (states like Ebonyi, Kebbi, Kano leading the pack, with Ogun joining at the end of 2017). The price of a 50kg bag of rice – a staple in the country – has fallen by about 50 per cent as local production has gone up.

  7. The Federal Government launched a 701 billion Naira Intervention Fund (‘Payment Assurance Programme’) aimed at supporting power generation companies to meet their payment obligations to gas and equipment suppliers, banks and other partners. The impact is being felt, the amount of power being distributed is now currently steady at around 4,000MW and generation now put at 7,000 MW, higher than ever recorded.

  7.  The Federal Government began paying pensions to police officers who were granted Presidential pardon in 2,000 after serving in the former Biafran Police during the Nigerian Civil War. These officers, and their next of kin, have waited for their pensions for 17 years since the Presidential pardon.

  8. Nigeria rose 24 places on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings, and earned a place on the List of Top 10 Reformers in the world.

  9. Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves grew $40 billion, reaching the highest level since 2014. Nigeria also added, this year, an additional $250 million to its Sovereign Wealth Fund. Also, Nigeria’s trade balance crossed over into surplus territory, from a deficit in 2016.

 10. The government had successfully commenced implementation of a Whistle blowing Programme that had so far seen recoveries of tens of millions of dollars.

Other achievements of the government that Mr Shehu highlighted are two Eurobonds (US$4.5bn), a Sukuk Bond (100 billion Naira), a Diaspora Bond (US$300m), and the first Sovereign Climate Bond in Africa, through which the nation raised billions of dollars for infrastructure spending.

He said the Federal Government had inaugurated a Tax Amnesty scheme expected to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenues when it closes in March 2018.

Also Read: 2019: Buhari’s Campaign Groups Endorse Atiku

On corruption, Shehu stated that Buhari had demonstrated extraordinary courage by going after former military chiefs for their involvement in corruption.

“If the President could go after fellow soldiers, what more evidence do we need to prove that the President is bold and sincere in fighting corruption?" he asked.

On the claim by Na-Abba that the president has not added value to democracy in three years, Shehu said: “The sense we have is that the Honorable Speaker was confusing the political environment as had existed in the past, with this period when the President has shown a total commitment to the independence of the two arms of government, namely the Parliament and the Judiciary".

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