The Nigerian Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, said in a statement on Monday that it “appreciates and applauds the coming-out of economic recession recently achieved by Nigeria” but only diversification of the economy would keep Nigeria out of the woods.
The Nigerian Federal Government had through the National Bureau of Statistics officially announced in August, 2016 that the country was recession.
The Executive Chairman, CACOL, Mr. Debo Adeniran, in welcoming the country’s new status of being ‘out of recession’, said “it is heartwarming that Nigeria is finally out of an economic recession that is arguably the worst that has ever hit the country, without any bit of doubt, the economy has made the conditions of living hard for majority of the citizens inadvertently.”
“The government must ensure that the gains of this achievement immediately begin to impact on lives of ordinary citizens in terms of giving succor for the pains they have had to bear all the while when the country was in recession. This is the only way it can be meaningful and impactful on the masses beyond statistics, figures, percentages, data and so on.”
A country’s economy enters into recession sequel to suffering contraction for two consecutive quarters. The NBS announced that in the second quarter of 2017, the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) grew by 0.55% (year-on-year) in real terms, indicating the emergence of the economy from recession after five consecutive quarters of contraction since Q1 2016.
However, Adeniran averred that the Nigeria must ensure that the economy does not slide back into recession. “We know that it is fundamentally the rise in the international prizes of oil that has largely helped the country out which makes the economy to remain in a precarious situation based on the mono-economic practice of the past and present governments.”
“The only way we can keep recession at bay is to concretely and consciously diversify the economy beyond the ‘the scratch-on-the-surface’ approach we have been and still witnessing. Even though the government talks diversification, it certainly appears unserious about it wholesomely.”
“How we do diversify massively into agriculture, solid minerals, Mines and Steel Development etc with the huge infrastructural deficits bedeviling the system? None of these sectors can flourish to level of moving the country away from oil-driven economy without good roads, constant electricity, railways, silos, storage facilities, water etc. This is the enabling environment that government must create across board (rural and urban) in the country to make a success of diversification.”
“The government must halt its false pretenses at diversifying the economy and get real if it truly intends to match words with actions; funds must be ploughed into infrastructural development which will ultimately galvanize a very vibrant economy standing on multiple legs.”