Buhari, others caution against celebrating Nigeria’s exit from recession


It is no longer news that Nigeria has exited its worst recession in 25 years was received with cautious optimism by a cross section of Nigerians on Tuesday, with many economists and analysts saying the 0.55 per cent growth in the Gross Domestic Product in the second quarter was slower than expected.

They also warned that the growth, which was largely as a result of rising oil price and improved production in the period, was fragile and that the nation could slip back into recession if the price of crude suffered a dramatic decline.
Leading the call for caution was President Muhammadu Buhari, who said the development would not make any impact until it had effect on the lives of ordinary Nigerians.
The National Bureau of Statistics had earlier in the day announced that the Nigerian economy finally came out of recession after recording five consecutive quarters of contraction, with the GDP recording a growth rate of 0.55 per cent in the second quarter as against the -0.91 revised rate recorded in the first quarter of this year.
The Statistician-General of the Federation, Dr. Yemi Kale, stated that the second quarter growth rate was 2.04 per cent higher than -1.49 per cent recorded in the corresponding second quarter of 2016.
In monetary terms, the report put the aggregate GDP for the second quarter of this year at N26.98tn, noting that this was higher than the nominal GDP of N23.54tn recorded in the corresponding second quarter of 2016.
The report read in part, “In the second quarter of 2017, the nation’s GDP grew by 0.55 per cent year-on-year in real terms, indicating the emergence of the economy from recession after five consecutive quarters of contraction since Q1 2016.
“This growth is 2.04 per cent higher than the rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2016 (-1.49 per cent) and higher by 1.46 per cent points from the rate recorded in the preceding quarter. Quarter-on-quarter, the real GDP growth was 3.23 per cent.”
Providing a sectoral performance of the GDP growth rate, NBS report stated that the agricultural sector grew by 3.01 per cent in the second quarter from 3.39 per cent in the first quarter of this year.
It said crop production under agriculture rose by 3.21 per cent in the second quarter from 3.50 per cent recorded in the first quarter, while crude petroleum and natural gas recorded a growth rate of 1.64 per cent in the second quarter from a contraction of -15.6 per cent in the first quarter.
The GDP report stated that the manufacturing sector grew by 0.64 per cent in the second quarter from 1.36 per cent in the first quarter of this year.

Our work not yet done, says Buhari
Buhari said until the country’s exit from recession could translate into meaningful improvement in peoples’ lives, “our work cannot be said to be done.”
The President said this in Daura while fielding questions from reporters shortly after receiving the President of Niger, Alhaji Mahamadou Issoufou.
According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President said Nigerians would experience a change in their living conditions soon.
“Certainly, I should be happy for what it is worth. I am looking forward to ensuring that the ordinary Nigerian feels the impact,” Buhari stated.
He commended all the managers of the economy for their hard work and commitment, stressing that more work needed to be done to improve the growth rate.

“Until coming out of recession translates into meaningful improvement in peoples’ lives, our work cannot be said to be done,” the President added.
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