Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, says contrary to predictions by critics, the Nigerian economy is on its path to recovery.
Akande was reacting to the latest report released by the National Bureau of Statistics which showed that Africa’s biggest economy entered a second recession in five years.
The PUNCH had reported that amid a rising debt profile, inflation and unemployment, the Nigerian economy shrank again in the third quarter of this year.
This year’s recession is the worst in 36 years as data obtained from the World Bank indicated that the country’s Gross Domestic Product dropped by 10.92 per cent in 1983 and 1.2 per cent in 1984.
The NBS, in its report for third quarter of 2020 released on Saturday, said the GDP, the broadest measure of economic prosperity, fell by 3.62 per cent in the three months up till September.
But speaking Sunday night on a television programme in Abuja, Akande said, “Let me say very clearly that if you look at the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) figures themselves, there is a clear indication of restoration. For instance, in Q2, the contraction was -6.1 but in Q3 which figures were just released, the contraction is -3. So, clearly, the Nigerian economy is on a rebound.
“To the question of when we will get out of this situation, the figures bear the truth that the Nigerian economy is on its way to recovery. This is going to be mainly because of the Economic Sustainability Plan that the President had put in place and asked the Vice-President to share its development and implementation.
“The economy is rebounding and this is mainly because of the preemptive action that the Buhari administration had taken even before now to ensure that the situation doesn’t get worse. We have the confidence that the Nigerian economy will bounce back very promptly.”
He added that regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has been prudent with public finances and have only borrowed to re-fleet the economy.