Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, has said Nigeria might experience recession in the third quarter of the year.
Opening a three-day capacity building workshop for select top civil servants yesterday in Abuja, he observed: “Is it likely that the growth in the third quarter will be negative or positive?, I think it is likely going to be negative considering the fact that the lockdown has just been lifted.”
The minister continued: “But if we put on all our efforts, if we do what we have to do as Nigerians, then there will be room for recovery. It takes a joint effort, not only of government, but all Nigerians to take our country serious, play our roles in order to ensure that we have quick recovery.
“This is the first time we are having a negative GDP growth in a quarter in the last three years. We have had a consecutive 12 quarters of positive growth. We are not in a recession yet; we can only say we are in a recession if we have another quarter of negative growth.
“The economy is now being relieved because we are easing the lockdown, and economic activities are going up. We have N2.3 trillion as stimulus package of which N500 billion of it is in the revised 2020 budget, while others are facilities and programmes that the government has created for the financial institutions to ensure good recovery if we go into recession.”
Agba said the history of development planning in the country shows a “general lack of coordination and harmonisation of programmes and policies.”
This, he stressed, had not benefited from a bottom-up approach.According to the minister, “government is desirous of changing the fortune of Nigerians and the future of generations yet unborn”, adding that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration desires that the “nation periodically draws comprehensive plans through which the welfare of citizens can be enhanced economically, socially and politically.”