#1

"We know that if we can just bear

in F r e i s t i l 12.04.2019 05:50
von dawang123 • 468 Beiträge

by Bosun Awoniyi


LAGOS, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- Nigeria is working hard to grow its non-oil economy as a 2.06-percent decline year on year in second quarter GDP indicates reliance on oil as the bulwark of its economy spells trouble.


A report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Wednesday showed that the economy had nosedived following rising inflation for years.


Over a month ago, the government said the economy was in a "technical" recession.


But the NBS data Wednesday confirmed the nation's worst economic recession in over a decade. Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation, rose to 17.1 percent in July from 16.5 percent in June.


Speaking after the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja, Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun described the country as being in its "worst possible time", but stressed there is a silver lining.


"We know that if we can just bear and get through this difficult period. Nigeria is going to be better for it," she added.


The minister dismissed the insinuation that those managing the nation's economy were running out of ideas and confused.


"We are not confused; the time is confusing but we are not confused. We are extremely focused," Adeosun said in reaction to the NBS report.


"If we rely on oil, and the price of oil remains low and the quantity of oil remains low, we can't grow. We have to grow our non-oil economy," she told reporters.


Tony Ejinkeonye, President of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said this is really not a good time for the country, as economic recession has led to unemployment, lower wages and incomes, as well as lost opportunities.


Education, private capital investments, and economic opportunity were all likely to suffer in the current downturn, Ejinkeonye said.


Ejinkeonye said with the credit crunch and the reduction in consumer demand, small businesses were also likely to suffer deficit within the period of recession.


He said this was especially worrying given the role of small businesses as a key driver of growth and job creation.


The chamber's president stressed the need for government to act urgently to create a valuable economic motivation plan to stimulate growth.


The diversification of the country's productive base remained the long-term solution to weak Naira, with agriculture and solid minerals holding vast promises in this regard, an economic expert, Uche Uwaleke said.


Uwaleke said the weak infrastructure such as power and transport as well as high cost of petroleum products combined with the citizens' penchant for foreign goods were factors pushing up commodity prices.


On his part, Peter Eson-Ozo, General Secretary of Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC), emphasized the urgent need for an overarching policy that would address the economic situation.


"As of now, we do not seem to have a policy response that shows where we are in the economy," he said.


"Today you talk of foreign exchange management policy response, tomorrow you talk of interest rate, and you know economic isolation will not address this problem," he said.

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