Towards the end of the second quarter of last year, the National Bureau of Statistics in Nigeria broke the news that the country had dropped into recession. This happened when the all important oil industry suffered under weak global prices. Consequently, the Gross Domestic Product, GDP, was announced to have dropped by 2.06%.
According to the investopedia, recession is a significant decline in activities across the economy, lasting longer than a few months. It is said to be visible in Gross Domestic Product, employment, real income, wholesale and also in retail trade. Statistics also confirmed that the nation’s economic troubles stemmed from a faltering currency and fall in oil revenues.
To many Nigerians the period no doubt was a nightmare. However, the good news is that just some weeks back, exit from the recession was announced, with the GDP having a positive rate in the second quarter of this year. The Statistics office attributed the recovery to some economic activities such as appreciation in the prices of agriculture, manufacturing and trade.
With this development what are the expectations of Nigerians. “Every average Nigerian should be having normal food, price of fuel should be reduced to ₦100.”
“At least they should reduce the high rate of dollar, I don’t believe we are out of recession.”
“Government should look forward to know how to tackle high level of unemployment”.
Commenting, a Trader, Mr Charles Oraegbu declared low sales in his business and hinted that prices of commodities which rose astronomically last year had remained a problem.
“The situation is not moving at all, the rate of exchange is high, so everything must be high.”
Appealing for government’s intervention on the lingering hardship, a mother, Deaconess joy Nnamani stated that high cost of products in the market was affecting the living standard of middle and lower class Nigerians.
Lending his voice on the issue, the Secretary of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Enugu District Society, Mr Emmanuel Nnamani who had his reservations on the exit, noted that the Paris Club Refund injected to settle debts especially to pensioners was an avenue to improve People’s wellbeing and revive the economy.
“If somebody is paid a gratuity of two or three million naira, some of them may go into construction, some may start up new business and when they go into the business, they will buy raw material, employ staff and the economy will continue to grow.”
Another professional, and Permanent Secretary, Enugu State Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Doctor Benedict Ezema maintained that the positive signs of the exit would manifest only when a greater expenditure indices and gainful employment showed.
Dr Ezema further stated that these gains would then give way for the Nigerian Governors to provide more infrastructure having generated increased income from taxation.
“The end is that it is going to impact on the welfare of the people and the government will also be in a better position to provide more structures because they are now getting more income.”
Despite accepting that the nation is out from recession, the presidency which is not left out of the saga has remained cautious as it says there is no room to rest if it’s citizens do not feel the impact.
What else is there to be said.