A financial expert, Uche Uwaleke has called on the Federal Government to focus on quality growth that is inclusive for the economy to be completely out of recession.
Uwaleke, an Associate Professor and Head of Banking and Finance, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, made the call in an interview on Thursday in Abuja.
He said that government could achieve quality growth by emphasising more on the agricultural sector.
He said that emphasis should also be laid on other critical sectors of the economy that would promote economic diversification.
“The good news, however, is that the roadmap is already available.
“Effective implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan beginning with the 2017 Budget holds the key,” he said.
Uwaleke commended the government efforts of getting the country out of recession, describing it the news as cheering, which showed progress in the economy.
“It corroborates the positive developments in the economy namely the relative stability in exchange rate, increased level of capital importation, enhanced Manufacturing Purchasing Managers index, retreating headline inflation and rebound in the stock market,” he said.
The don however noted that the journey was still far and more work still needed to be done in the economy.
He said that a GDP growth rate of 0.55 per cent would not make much impact given a population growth rate of about three per cent per annum.
“Besides, the major driver of the growth which is the oil sector is indicative of the country’s increasing vulnerability to external shocks.
“Another cause of worry is that although the agriculture sector grew 3.01 per cent year-on-year, it actually declined when compared with the first quarter of 2017 (3.39 per cent) and the last quarter of 2016 (4.03 per cent).
“Little wonder, the cost of food items have been on the rise in spite of the gradual drop in inflation rate.
“Therefore, the challenge now is to focus on the quality of growth and ensure that it is inclusive,” he said.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Sept. 5 reported that the country has officially exited recession.
The data showed that the country GDP grew by 0.55 per cent year-on-year in real terms in the second quarter of 2017.
The report said that the recovery was driven principally by the performance of oil, agriculture, manufacturing and trade sectors.
The bureau said that the figure indicated the economy was out of recession after five consecutive quarters of contraction since first quarter of 2016.