2017 was a difficult year and it sure was for even the president of Nigeria. President Muhammadu Buhari was ill and on medical vacation for much of the first half of the year. He said he has never been so sick in his life. For him, good health in August coincided with the emergence of the economy from five quarters of recession.
In the first half of the year, Buhari launched the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), and Vice President Osinbajo (as Nigeria’s Acting President) signed the 2017 Budget into law. The budget had been sent to Senate in December 2016, but was not passed into law by the National Assembly until May 2017.
However, it is in this same 2017 that experts of the national economy said Nigeria exited its worst recession in decades. They claimed that after five quarters of negative growth, the economy has bounced back, while agriculture was one of the stars of 2017, posting consistent growth levels even throughout the recession. Also, Inflation fell for ten consecutive months during 2017 .
The same 2017 saw Naira stabilised against the dollar, after the Central Bank introduced a new forex window for Investors and Exporters. Through this increased investment inflows, and Nigeria’s stock market emerged one of the best-performing in the world, delivering returns in excess of 40 percent.
There were also positive stories from investments, pensions, in the ease of doing business, foreign exchange rose up higher and other areas received boosts in different ways.
In view of this, the federal government is seeking more ways to come closer to the people and it is hoped that all the growth factors seen are going to be precedents for 2018. Of course, the administration of Buhari would love to see 2018 as a year of infrastructure.