Nigerians will feel the exit from recession gradually —NBS
DR Yemi Kale, the Chief Executive Officer, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), has said that the effect of Nigeria coming out of recession will not be immediately felt by the people.
Kale, the Statistician-General of the Federation, made the statement in Abuja on Wednesday at a news conference.
“There is a different stage Nigeria must go through before the masses will feel the effects of going out of recession.
“Out of recession is the first step which is very important then the country can talk of economic recovery which is going back to where Nigeria was before the recession.
“Recession is just a technical word; we are comparing 2017 and 2016,’’ he said.
Kale said the reason Nigerians were not feeling the real impact of the positive economic growth rate on their lives to the structure of the economy which was still largely driven by oil.
“Recession is not about the price of your goods, not whether unemployment is going up or down, not whether you have quality education; it’s purely your gross domestic product.
“Your outputs of goods and services in the economy are going down and the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) is an accumulation of 46 different economic activities in Nigeria and the overall number.
“Whether positive or negative will determine whether you are in recession or out of recession.
“Now, within those 46 activities, some sectors will do very well and will be positive, some will do badly, some will do worse and some will stay the same way they are.’’
Kale said the important thing for the country was to maintain the situation so that Nigeria would not go back to recession.
According to him, the country must not relax because the GDP is still on the negative side.
He said that coming out of recession was not about quality but the quantum of growth.
Kale added that “there is growth but there is a problem with the distribution across the country.’’
In response to a question that the exit from recession was a political gimmick, the NBS boss said GDP report which showed that Nigeria exited recession in the second quarter was not politically motivated.
“It is not political because it is the same bureau that gave other negative data.
“Things have improved but we are not there yet, it is only food prices that are still high.’’
According to him, the bureau is an agency of government that has the independence to carry out survey and publish its findings based on international best practices.
“The fact that the NBS can boldly say, when the Statistician-General is up for renewal, that the economy is in recession and inflation has gone up to 17 per cent, speaks a lot about the integrity of the bureau.
“So, in terms of bureau doctoring numbers for politicians, I don’t think anyone can make that claim and NBS can never be political. We don’t do it.”
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udoma said the announcement that Nigeria has exited recession is an indication that the various policies of government towards reflating the economy, as set out in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), are yielding fruits, and confidence is returning to the Nigerian economy.
He said the second quarter GDP report was a testimony to the fact that government is moving in the right economic direction.
The minister noted that two major objectives were in focus when the ERGP was launched by the President early this year – to get the economy out of recession and then put it on the path of sustained inclusive and diversified growth. “Now that we have accomplished the first task, attention will now be on growing the economy as rapidly as we can”, he said.
The minister pointed out that the major focus of government was to reflate the economy through spending in strategic sectors like infrastructure, agriculture, solid minerals and so on to galvanise economic activities and empower the people.