Nigerian Economy Out Of Recession, Utomi Cautions Economy Planners
As the nation basks in the euphoria of being out of recession as announced by the Statistician General of the Federation and Director General of the Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, Yemi Kale, Professor Pat Utomi has cautioned the government on what it needs to do to stay out of recession.
The economy slid into its worst form of recession in 29 years in August 2016. According to new facts shared by the NBS DG, the economy grew by 0.55% in GDP terms for Q2 2017 after five consecutive quarters of contractions since Q1 2016. NBS attributes the exit from recession on the economic growth in the oil, agriculture, manufacturing and trade industries.
According to the statistics, Oil GDP recovered significantly from -11.63 per cent in Q2 2016 to 1.64 per cent in Q2 2017, while Non-oil GDP grew marginally at 0.45 per cent. Agriculture grew 3.01 per cent in Q2 2017, from 3.39 per cent in Q1 2017. Manufacturing retained its positive growth for the second consecutive quarter in Q2 2017, growing at 0.64 percent, while trade which has a dominant share of GDP remained negative at -1.62 per cent.
Meanwhile, Prof. Pat Utomi has stated that the country can improve the economy more dynamically by collaborating with the private sector to stimulate economic growth.
While the nation revels in being relieved of the perception of being in recession, Utomi said government should also focus on creation of jobs vis a vis the growing population and implement policies that improve the quality of life of Nigerians adding that government should manage the economy with implementation of right economic and welfaristic policies.
According to him, “It is a good thing that you don’t have the perception thing of being in a recession. The most important problems are that of job creation, and how do we take advantage of the fact that there is not the burden or perception of being in a recession to then begin to look at how to grow the economy more dynamically. The government can work with the private sector to spur growth.”
“There are those who are concerned about the welfare of human beings who will focus on how does this translate into the quality of life that people live. There are people who do not like to make much than it deserves about statistical averages but ask whether this puts more food on the people and whether their life has changed for better. You can frustrate people who think that escaping a technical, statistical benchmark means everything is well.”
“Clearly, I am encouraged by the new implementation teams put together by the government. We have a group of smarter, younger, senior special assistants to the president that have been appointed to look at implementation of policies. This is more important than whether metrics have moved in one way or the other.” He said