Nigerian Economy, Recession Indices & the Citizens: Matters Arising! – Ishola Adebayo

September 11, 2017

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced earlier this week that Nigeria’s economy is out of recession. According to the NBS, in the second quarter of 2017, the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) 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.

For academics, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) defined a recession as "a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in a real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), real income, employment, industrial production and wholesale-retail sales".

The GDP figures however give grounds for cautious optimism especially as inflation has continued to fall from 18.72% in January 2017 to 16.05% in July 2017. Foreign exchange reserves have similarly improved from a low of $24.53 in September 2016 to about $31 billion in August 2017. In the same vein capital importation grew by 95% year-on-year driven by portfolio and other investments but also notably by foreign direct investment which increased by almost 30% over the previous quarter.

Overall, the end of the recession is welcomed but economic growth remains fragile and vulnerable to exogenous shocks or policy slippages.

It should be noted that Nigerian citizens cannot take what the NBS has said hook, line, and sinker without asking questions as to the authenticity of the report. What indices did the NBS use in getting their findings and conclusion? How can they sit in the comfort of their offices and say Nigeria is out of recession when the opposite is the case? Is Nigeria the only country experiencing economic recession? No! But, Nigerian government at all levels is not doing much to resolve it with all available indices and they need to do more to better the lives of common man on the streets.