CSOs react over FG’s report on exiting recession with 0.11% growth

Says Nigerians continue to wallow in dangerous poverty

By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja

Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, Sunday, reacted with mixed feelings over report by Federal Government on Nigeria exiting recession with Gross Domestic Product, GDP, growth by 0.11 per cent.

We demand closer scrutiny of sectoral growth-Non-oil Exporters

The Chairman of Non-oil Exporters in Nigeria, Chief Ede Dafinone, said, “I saw the report on Nigeria exiting recession. Recessions are scientifically defined (something like positive growth in two successive quarters) so the report must be based on these statistics.

“Notwithstanding the statistics, the general economic environment does not *feel* like one of growth. I would suggest closer scrutiny of the sectoral growth to confirm that the growth is not skewed in favour of a selection of sectors.”

GDP growth of 0.11% not impressive — CDNDC

The Convener, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution, CDNDC, Ariyo-Dare Atoye, said, “A weak GDP Growth of 0.11 per cent, driven largely by the private sector, which helped the economy to technically exit recession in the fourth quarter, is nothing to write home about, especially when you consider other fundamentals, such as the extreme poverty level in the country, worsening unemployment and alarming insecurity that have all impacted negatively on the economy.

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“While the GDP will continue to remain a global yardstick for measuring economic growth, however, it has long been flagged, many times, as not reflective of the actual reality of the economic situation in the country and as such, Nigeria exiting recession may have little or no direct bearing on the socio-economic life of the people.

“As long as Nigeria remains the poverty capital of the world, and insecurity continues to ravage the country and threaten economic activities and developments, the economic projection of ‘entry and exit’ of GDP will remain economic rhetoric to the common people because only the direct benefits of a working economy that will count.

0.11% growth incapable to free Nigerians from recession — Global Rights

The Country Director, Global Rights, Abiodun Baiyewu, said, “I think it is laughable to assume that a 0.11%growth will tip us out of a double-digit recession.”

Agribusiness still suffering, no impact on farmers — NPPAN

The National President, National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria, NPPAN, Amb. Alphonsus Enyang, said, “I don’t think so for so many reasons: the federal government is still borrowing to pay salaries of its workers, the government is planning to sell assets to fund the 2021 budget, inflation is still above 16 per cent, Nigeria is becoming more insecure by the day, more and more farmers can’t go to farm because of insecurity, exchange rates has hit the roof, prices of basic commodities are out of the reach of the common man.

“Tell me, to exit recession you have to spend hugely to stimulate activities in targeted sectors of the economy, is the government saying they have been spending more money in the last one year? Which sectors have they been spending?

“Look at our own sector- Agriculture, every day you go to the market you see at least two new brands of imported rice into the country with fancy packaging, where are they coming from?

“My association, National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria has asked the CBN to set aside funds under the Oil Palm Development Initiative for us to use the smallholder farmers to develop up to 2 million hectares of oil palm plantations across 24 States in Nigeria so that Nigeria can regain her position as an exporter of Palm oil and its derivatives.

“We are waiting for the CBN to respond, we have mobilized and trained over 100,000 smallholder farmers across the 24 States and waiting for the CBN.

“Nigerians are not aware that the country has exited recession because conditions of life have not changed and government needs to do more to make Nigerians smile again. Agriculture is the sector government should target more energy, in addition to what they are doing already through the ABP, NIRSAL MFB, and others.

We don’t believe Nigeria is out of recession — Adeyanju

Convener, Concerned Nigerians, CN, Prince Deji, Adeyanju said, “Tactically, three to four years we have been in recession which makes it impossible that we are out of another recession.

“Things are beyond bad in the country because how can because someone says we are out of recession and that means that the economy is doing well.

“It has never been this bad before in the history of this country. Buhari keeps breaking his own record; insecurity record, recession record and he has done so much to destroy the economy.

“Look at all the economic policies and somersault and everything they have done in the last five to six years plus. It is just unbelievable the damage they have done to the country.

“I don’t believe that we are out of recession rather things have gotten worse.”

 We are yet to see the impact on grassroots — GEJ Initiative

The National Coordinator, Grassroots Empowerment and Justice, GEJ Initiative, Comrade Ebriku John Friday, said, “If the government is saying the economy is out of the recession we the grassroots people are interested in the impact of this positive result about the economy. We demand that the government should go further to improve the security situation that is precarious and worrisome.

“We are yet to see the impact of this report that Nigeria is out of recession because there is high inflation at about 16 per cent. If this will impact Nigerians as the government has reported let there be an improvement on the living standard of the grassroots.

“We are not comfortable with the indebtedness this government has placed Nigerians. We are once out of debt but now we are plunged into serious debts running into millions of dollars.

“The government should look inwards and block wastage because after borrowing the money people steal create an avenue to steal the money. Also while elephant projects should be stopped as the recent groundbreaking of the railway from Kano to the Niger Republic while our economy is struggling to stand on its feet.

“Excessive spending should stop and cut down unnecessary costs by government officials. We are against the hike in fuel pump price and electricity tariff.

“Government at all levels at this critical time of the economy should collaborate and stabilize the economy.

“We also want to state unequivocally that government needs to restructure; when will ‘Obi become a man?’ if some parts of the country are afraid of restructuring. Let there be devolution of power for rapid development, employment creation, and positive economic growth.”

Report questionable — PMNN

The Founder, Peoples Movement for a New Nigeria, PMNN, Yahaya Ndu, said, “We do not agree at all. A recession in economics is a business circle contraction when there is a general decline in economic activities.

“Now the coronavirus and ill-conceived and mal-implemented measures to check the pandemic coupled with almost nationwide and unrelenting insecurity is bringing Nigeria to its knees, how can anyone in his or her right senses be saying that the nation is out from recession.

“The truth is that people in authority like to talk unreasonably in this country. That is why for many years we have been told that Boko Haram has been decimated and so on when the terrorist Organization is waxing strong.”

FG should sustain exit with sustainable growth — AFAN

However, the National President, All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, Arc Kabir Ibrahim, said, “Nigeria’s exit from recession will be further accompanied by sustainable growth if agriculture is properly repositioned.

“As the NBS says growth in agriculture, telecommunications helped the exit from recession. We advise that; Any farmers’ data capture exercise without the involvement of the state’s ministries of agriculture, federal directors of agriculture, and the farmer-associations is an invitation to failure.

“While it is a very crucial component for planning, a farmer-data capture exercise undertaken without the direct involvement of the States Ministries of Agriculture, Federal Directors of Agriculture and Farmer-associations like AFAN will fail woefully.

“Any intervention in Agriculture by anyone, especially, the Federal Ministry Agriculture and Rural Development and the CBN must take cognizance of the States and the farmer-Associations to really have any significant impact on Agriculture in Nigeria.

“Agriculture takes place in the states and the farmers who work the land to produce crops and raise livestock also reside in the States.

“The Federal Government does not own farms and not all the states are governed by the same party as such the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has to cooperate with the States to convince them to key into its programmes to achieve sustainable outcomes.

“Appointing consultants and asking them to proceed without any input from the beneficiaries such as the farmers is not going to work sustainably.”

Vanguard News Nigeria

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