Nigeria recorded 7.68 per cent Gross Domestic Growth (GDP) rate in the first half of this year, the Minister of Finance, Mr Olusegun Aganga, has said.
Aganga, who was speaking at an interactive session with the members of the organised private sector in Lagos on Friday, said that this was against the 7.2 per cent GDP recorded in 2009.
He said that the statistics which was compiled by the National Bureau of Statistics was real although some Nigerians might not believe it.
The minister said that it was regrettable that the manufacturing sector contributed less than five per cent to the GDP recorded in the first half of this year.
Aganga said that the ICT sector, which is in its infancy in Nigeria, contributed more to the GDP than the manufacturing sector.
He said that the Federal Government attached importance to the manufacturing sector because of its ability to create jobs and improve the productive base of the economy.
“You (the manufacturing sector) are a very important sector, but we want you to move from being important to being significant,” he said.
Aganga said that the manufacturing sector could grow by double digit and that Nigeria was on the threshold of joining Brazil, Russia, India, and China as foremost emerging economies.
“This is what we want, and we shall rely on you to achieve it,” he said.
The minister said that government’s approach to economic development was that of constant engagement with the real sector operators.
“We want to keep constant touch with you as we make and review policies so as to achieve desired results.
“We have created avenues for this constant dialogue and my doors are open to welcome ideas on how to get this economy where we want it,” he said.
Aganga said that revenue inflow into the country improved by 48 per cent in the first half of the year and that “Nigeria is not broke”.