Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State today said that recession was not a crime but a period that calls for government at all level to rearrange its expenditure and give more priority to capital expenditure.
The governor said, “Recession is not a crime, it’s just a notice to say that you rearrange the way you do your public expenditure. That’s what President Obama did. Yes, there was a burst in 2008 and 2009 but he was very bold enough to put public money into General Motors and even the airlines and that is what is missing in this country.
“You need to increase the capital expenditure to help companies, to help other people and even help the government to get the system out of recession. That’s the only template that works.”
Ambode, who stated this at the opening ceremony of the Biennial Convention of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) held in Ikeja, Lagos with the theme, “A Nation in Recession: Whither the Nigerian Media?” sighted example of the steps the former U.S President, Barak Obama took few years ago to save the ailing American economy, saying that Nigeria must be ready to toll such line.
He said the State stood in the gap for Nigeria during the period of the economic recession, assuring that his administration would continue to show leadership, demonstrate capacity and be relentless in its pursuit of excellence despite the daunting challenges.
He said the current recessionary climate not only taught some hard lessons but presented a new challenge as well as an opportunity to think outside the box to change Nigeria’s story from “business as usual” to “business unusual”.
He said with the recession, the rate of unemployment soared as a result of the economic outlook, lay-offs and shut-down of businesses stating that the national unemployment rate rose to 13.9 percent in 2016 from 10.4 percent in 2015; while the unemployment rate in Lagos State increased from 18 percent in 2015 to 27 percent in 2016.