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We’ve improved Nigeria’s security, economy, engaged corruption – Buhari

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Nigeria’s economy gaining strength – IMF

 PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari says three priorities of his administration; security, economy and corruption, have received significant attention with measurable results.

  He said this followed his administration’s vision of making Nigeria more peaceful, prosperous and reliable, among nations.

  Malam Garba Shehu, the president’s media aide, in a statement, said the president said this at the Passing Out Parade of the Regular Course 4/2016 Cadets of the Nigeria Police Academy, Wudil, Kano State.

  Buhari noted that policies and actions of the government made impact on the tripod vision, in spite of challenges, assuring that more would still be done to safeguard lives and property, enhance livelihood and ensure probity.

  “As you are all aware, this administration came to office determined to make impact in three main areas: security, building a sustainable economy and fight against corruption.

  ”We can say that recent positive developments in these areas have shown that despite the challenges on ground, we can see general improvement in all three areas.

  “In the area of corruption, as you are all aware, I am determined to ensure that we do not have a repeat of what has gone on in previous administrations and we have taken a strong stand against pervasive corruption.

  “This administration has also focused on security by repositioning our national security to perform their duties effectively.

  ”We have equally embarked on some crucial changes in their funding, structure, and modes of operation.

  ”With the launching/empowerment of the Police Trust Fund, this administration swung into action after taking the assessment of needs for possible interventions in the provision of logistics and infrastructural needs of the Force,” he said.

  The Nigerian leader further noted that, in a fast changing world, driven by digital technology, the Nigeria Police must continually evolve on its structure and operations to make greater impact in checking crime, particularly in the virtual space.

  He said: ”In a world where insecurity is constantly evolving; law enforcement responses have to equally evolve not just to keep up but to stay ahead.

  ”Also, as part of efforts to modernise the Nigeria Police Force, this Administration has intensified both international and local training and retraining of our officers and men in addition to providing new platforms and other resources.

  “These approaches have yielded positive results as it is glaring that Nigeria’s ranking has improved on the world Counter-Terrorism global index from 4th to 6th position on the list of the most terrorised nations.

  “This administration has signed into law the new Police Act to ensure an improvement in the welfare of service delivery to meet best international practices.

  “As I said earlier, with the take-off of The Police Trust Fund, there has been an upgrade of infrastructure such as the construction of new barracks across the country, renovation of existing ones, construction of medical facilities, as well as procurement of modern operational vehicles.”

  Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says inflation will remain high despite the ongoing economic recovery in Nigeria.

  The global financial institution said this in a statement issued after completing a series of meetings between its team led by Jesmin Rahman, mission chief for Nigeria at IMF, and Nigerian authorities.

  The meeting was held on June 6 and 10, 2022, and discussions centred on recent economic and financial developments and the economic outlook for the country.

  The IMF described Nigeria’s economic outlook as “challenging” with high food prices raising food security concerns.

  “Regarding the economic outlook, GDP growth is projected at 3.4 percent (y/y) in 2022 while inflation is expected to remain elevated,” the statement reads.

  “The fiscal deficit of the consolidated government is expected to remain high at 6.1 percent of GDP due in great measure to costly petrol subsidies and limited tax revenue collections.”

  Nigeria’s inflation reached 17.7 percent in May, led by a renewed surge in food prices exacerbated by the war in Ukraine.

  Recently, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) raised the benchmark interest rate to 13 percent to contain inflationary pressures.

  “Economic recovery continues to gain strength on the back of services and agriculture with GDP growth reaching 3.6 percent (y/y) in Q1 2022,” the statement adds.

  “Regarding the external sector, the current account deficit narrowed significantly in 2021, helped by import compression and higher net oil balance.

  “However, the improving trade balance, which has continued so far in 2022, is having a limited impact on Foreign Exchange (FX) strains with the exchange rate premiums in the parallel market staying in the 35-40 percent range since October 2021.

  It listed downside risks in the near term to include further deterioration of security conditions, elections, low vaccination against COVID-19 and higher global interest rates.

  On the upside, the IMF said steady private sector recovery and further broadening of growth, the start of operations at the Dangote Refinery and decisive steps to mobilise revenues, in line with the strategic revenue growth initiative (SRGI), could spur inclusive growth and development.

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