Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan has disclosed that Nigeria’s economy attracted investments worth 6.8 trillion naira ($42.6 billion) in nine months, with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growing at an average of 7.1 percent, driven mainly by the non-oil sector.
The president, while making his 52nd Independence Anniversary address, said: “Nigeria’s real GDP has grown by 7.1 per cent on average.” He furthered noting that “the GDP growth has been driven largely by the non-oil sector.”
Nigeria, a former major cocoa exporter, begun concerted efforts to diversify its oil-based economy following the neglect and stagnation of vibrant sectors after it recorded oil boom. Under the Goodluck Jonathan-led government, economic reforms have been initiated to encourage and foster private participation, to which the president has said it helped “attract over 6.8 trillion naira ($42.6 billion) local and foreign direct investment commitments.’’.
According to the Nigerian leader, the Investment Climate Reform Programme success has helped Nigeria become the preferred destination for investment in Africa.
Jonathan said: “It (Nigeria) is ranked first in the top five host economies for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Africa, accounting for over 20 percent of total FDI flows into the continent.’’
Jonathan also disclosed his government has reduced bureaucratic protocol at the sea ports in order to improve efficiency.
“Specifically, we have drastically reduced the goods clearing period in our ports from about six weeks to about one week and under. We have an ultimate target of 48 hours,” he said.
Jonathan while speaking on Monday, said that Nigeria has improved in spite of the global economic crisis. “Over the past five years, the global economy has been going through a weak and uncertain recovery. During the same period and particularly in the last two years, the Nigerian economy has done appreciably well in spite of the global financial crisis,” he said.