… As Baroness Chalker Commends Amnesty
The Finance Minister, Dr. Mansur Muhtar has disclosed that the Nigerian macroeconomic environment has improved and macroeconomic stability achieved in 2009 due to government’s proactive response to the global economic
slowdown and the improved global economic environment.
He stated this at the opening session of the Honorary International Investors Council (HICC) in Abuja.
He added that that preliminary estimates from the National Bureau of Statistics shows point to a real GDP growth rate of 7.6 percent during the third quarter of 2009.
Muhtar disclosed that the 2010 Budget will continue to focus on improving the efficiency of government expenditure and adopting belt-tightening measures in line with resource constrains and expenditure rationalization and reprioritization-focus on 7-point agenda and on-going capital expenditure as well as diversification of the productive sectors.
Also in his presentation, the Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, expressed the determination of the apex bank to promote a banking system that is sound, stable and efficient and capable of supporting the real sector. He noted that the banking sector remains key and a major driver of economic activity and constitute a significant channel for capital flows into the economy.
Sanusi explained that CBN took proactive steps to prevent further deterioration in the banking sector by replacing the chief executives and executive directors of the nine banks affected by the reforms; injecting the sum of N620bn into the nine banks in line with similar actions by Central Banks in advanced economies to deal with liquidity problems. He disclosed that the reform agenda of the CBN is based on three pillars which include the enhancement of the quality of banks; ensuring financial stability and sustainable economic growth; ensuring healthy financial sector evolution, among others.
In her remarks, the HIIC Co-ordinator, Baroness Lynda Chalker, appreciated the efforts of the administration towards achieving peace in the country especially in the Niger Delta, which she said is a good development and a catalyst to building a strong economy.
She advised that funds going to the Niger Delta should be used for sustainable projects and the on-going land reform should be made to benefit land owners in the region. She pledged the support of the Council to government’s determination to fight corruption with the aim of assuming its number one oil producing countries in Africa .
The Honorary International Investors Council (HIIC) which was set up in 2004, is playing a very significant role by advising the government on its quest to involve the private sector and foreign direct investment to drive the economy with a view to becoming one of the twentieth largest economies in the world by the year 2020. HIIC is a body comprising individuals including Nigerians who are vast with the knowledge of global investment to look at our investment environment and advise government on the right decision to take to encourage foreign investment in terms of security, infrastructure, the general business climate in the country and other issues that will attract investors into the country.