Nigeria’s exit from its worst recession in more than two decades is positive in several ways, the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Economic Matters has said.
Dr Adeyemi Dipeolu expects news of the exit from recession to encourage optimism and investment in the country.
“The important thing is the optimism that comes with the upward trajectory of the economy and the willingness of people now to invest rather than hide their money for safety under their mattresses,” he said on Tuesday during an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
Data on Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product showed that the country had crept out of recession with a return to positive GDP growth.
The data released by the National Bureau of Statistics showed that the GDP grew at 0.55 percent in the second quarter of 2017. The growth was attributed to the performance of four main economic activities – oil, agriculture, manufacturing, and trade.
As the President and several others celebrated the news, many Nigerians were interested to know when the impact will be felt and when the jobs lost during the recession will be recovered and more created.
Dr Dipeolu who considers the exit from recession as “partly a story foretold” because recent economic indicators pointed to it, is not expecting an immediate impact.
Now that the country is out of recession, “the first thing is even just improving the mood and helping people to invest more and therefore people are no longer taking decisions to try and cut back on expenses”, he said.
“And then, as we see time going on, it will reflect in increased employment but that is usually a lagging indicator. It takes some time for those things to begin to hit people’s hands.”
Speaking further on the likely impact of the exit from recession further, Dr Dipeolu said as the economy picks up speed, several parts of the economy including tax revenues would begin to increase and, therefore, some of the capital investments being made by the government would be ramped up to the desired levels.
It is not all optimism, however. The Presidential aide has some concerns.
“The fear, first and foremost, will be any exogenous shocks that take you out of your current growth trajectory by which I mean we have to stay steady to avoid policy slippages,” he said.
“We also have to remain steady in ensuring that all sectors of the economy are contributing their quota to continued growth be it oil, be it agriculture, be it manufacturing and be it solid minerals as well.”