FG admits economy in recession, allays fears

Hope for workers as FG refunds N516bn to states

Fears that Nigeria’s economy has hit recession are real, so says the Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun. She has, however, reassured Nigerians that the much talked-about economic recession in the country, even though true, would not last longer than predicted.

Acceding that Nigerian economy is passing through some distress, the Minister attributed the development to the effect of recent fuel subsidies removal and policies of reducing dependency on oil, adding that with patience, the country would be better off soon.
“It is a temporary setback, which will not last more than necessary. The economy would only shrink in the second quarter, because of removal of fuel subsidies, but given the policies put in place to reduce country’s much dependency on oil, they will pay off,” she insisted.
Just last Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund said Nigeria’s economy is likely to contract by 1.8 percent this year. It cited a slump in oil prices and a shortage of hard currency and high inflation as some of the causes of the distress.
Adding his voice to IMF position, that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product had contracted by 0.36 percent in the first quarter of the year, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele had earlier confirmed a recession appeared to be imminent.
However, Adeosun told reporters, after facing the Senate on Thursday, that: “I think if we are in recession, what I will like to say is that we are going to come out of it and it is going to be a short one.”
She equally told the Senate not to panic, irrespective of observers’ views are on the issue.
On immediate measures to cushion the effect of lifting of fuel subsidies and boosting of non-oil production, she said Agriculture output is already improving.
“We were subsidizing around 45 million litres of fuel per day,” she said. “These are real savings to the economy which we are now redirecting into the essential infrastructure that will keep the economy going.”

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