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RECESSION: Presidency Says There Is Hope, Laments High Inflation, Unemployment


The Presidency has admitted that the rate of inflation and unemployment in

the country remains “stubbornly” high but assures of hope in the face of

The Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Dr Adeyemi

Dipeolu, admitted this in a statement on the latest National Bureau of

Statistics’ report.
Dipeolu’s statement was on Wednesday made available to State House

reporters by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media

and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande.
Dipeolu stated: “The inflation rate remains high, but the good news is

that the month-on-month rate of increase has fallen continuously over the

past three months. Unemployment remains stubbornly high which is usually

the case during growth slowdowns and for reasons of a structural nature.”

He, however, noted that barring unforeseen shocks, the areas given

priority by the Federal Government “are beginning to respond with

understandable time lags to policy initiatives.”

According to him, as the emphasis on capital expenditure begins to yield

results and the investment/GDP numbers increase, the growth rate of the

economy is likely to improve further.
He said as these trends continued, “the outlook for the rest of the year

is that the Nigerian economy will beat the International Monetary Fund’s

prediction of 1.8% for the full year 2016.
“The IMF had forecast a growth of -1.8% for 2016. However, the economy is

performing better than the IMF estimates so far. For the half year, it

stands at -1.23% compared to an average of -1.80% expected on average by

the IMF.
“What is more, it is likely the second half will be better than the first

half of 2016. This is because many of the challenges faced in the first

half either no longer exist or have eased.”
Dipeolu analysed thus “The just recently released data from the National

Bureau of Statistics showed that Gross Domestic Product declined by -2.06%

in the second quarter of 2016 on a year-on-year basis.

“A close look at the data shows that this outcome was mostly due to a

sharp contraction in the oil sector due to huge losses of crude oil

production as a result of vandalisation and sabotage.

“However, the rest of the Q2 data is beginning to tell a different story.

There was growth in the agricultural and solid minerals sectors which are

the areas in which the Federal Government has placed particular priority.

Agriculture grew by 4.53% in the second quarter of 2016 as compared with

3.09% in the first quarter.
“The metal ores sector showed similar performance with coal mining,

quarrying and other minerals also showing positive growth of over 2.5%.

Notably also, the share of investments in GDP increased to its highest

levels since 2010, growing to about 17% of Gross Domestic Product. The

manufacturing sector, though not yet truly out of the woods, is beginning

to show signs of recovery; while the service sector similarly bears

“Nevertheless, the data already shows a reduction in imports and an

increase in local produced goods and services and this process will be

maintained although it will start off slowly in these initial stages

before picking up later.”
In his own remarks, the vice president’s spokesman, Akande, said though

the just released GDP figures by the NBS for the second quarter confirmed

a temporary decline, it also indicated a hopeful expectation in the

economic trajectory.
“Besides the growth recorded in the agriculture and solid mineral sectors,

the Nigerian economy, in response to the policies of the Buhari

Presidency, is also doing better than what the IMF had estimated with

clear indications that the second half of the year would be even much

better,” he stated.
Akande said the Presidency would continue to work diligently on the

economy and engage all stakeholders to actively pursue beneficial policy

initiatives and deliver dividends to Nigerians.
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