Contrary to reports in some sections of the media on Tuesday that Nigeria’s economy will finally be out of recession in 2020, the economy actually climbed out of recession in the second quarter of 2017, as indicated by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The reports referred to a speech given by the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma at a retreat organized by the National Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER) on Monday. It was learnt that correspondents of the newspapers in question got their story second-hand from a syndicate source in Ibadan. The Minister never said so.
At the retreat which none of the affected newspapers was represented, the Minister spoke of the state of the economy and steps taken towards recovery and eventual diversified inclusive growth. He was happy that efforts made so far are yielding fruits as evident in the economy climbing out of recession in the second quarter of 2017, earlier than anticipated.
He explained that even though initial permutations were that the country will be exiting recession by the third quarter of 2017, it was heartwarming that the Second Quarter NBS GDP Report indicated that the economy was already out of recession.
While saying that the news of exiting recession was encouraging, he pointed out that there is still a lot more work required to realise the full promise of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), which is to have a rapidly growing economy with diversified sources of growth, increased opportunities and a socially inclusive economy that reduces poverty and creates jobs for young people entering the labour market annually.
“Our job is not done until we have realized Nigeria’s full potential as a major player in the world economy, he added.”
The reference to 2020 was made when the Minister was explaining the principles and objectives of the ERGP (2017 – 2020) and government’s commitment towards restoring growth from a negative trend in 2016 to 7% by 2020.
He therefore emphasized the need for Nigerians to partner with government through investments in human capital development, through job creation and also in production of quality goods to make them competitive, since one of the aims of the ERGP is to build a globally competitive economy.
He said government is targeting the achievement of 7% growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP0 by the end of the plan period which is the year 2020.