By Yinka Kolawole
AS Nigeria’s reported exit from recession continues to elicit mixed reactions, Statistician General, Dr. Yemi Kale, has given more insight into the report, noting that the impact of recovery on the streets is a gradual process.
Kale, who is the Chief Executive Officer of National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, which reported that the nation’s GDP grew by 0.55 percent in the second quarter, effectively announcing end to recession, gave the clarification via tweet chat yesterday.
Speaking on why Nigerians are yet to feel the impact, he said: “Economic recovery from recession (positive GDP), just as getting into recession (negative GDP), is a process. Just as getting into recession was gradual from six percent to five percent to three percent to two percent to -0.6 percent to -1.4 percent to -2.3 percent, recovery or when we feel it, will also follow similar process of gradual improvements, as long as we do what needs to be done or we will once again sink into negative growth as quickly as we got out.”
Many people have argued that Nigeria could not be said to have been out of recession since many people were still out of jobs and hunger still persists in the land. Kale, however, debunked that argument, noting that South Africa was still reported by BBC to be facing challenges, especially unemployment, despite coming out of recession at higher growth rate than Nigeria. “If you claim recession is only over when everybody has jobs/food, then Nigeria has been in recession since colonial times. It also means every country in the world is in recession because there is no country in the world that doesn’t have poor and unemployed people,” he added.
Giving further insight, Kale stated: “There are 46 economic activities in the NBS report and 21 were still negative, suggesting that all is not well yet. But it’s an important first step to arrest the slump. Services which impact the man on the street more were still negative, though Agric and Industry took us out of recession. So it is expected that for now and as recovery continues, depending on doing the right things and I can’t stress that enough, then services will also come out of recession and people will feel the impact more over time. There is no magic wand or auto button. It’s a process.”