The Chief Executive Officer, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Dr Yemi Kale, has said that the effect of Nigeria coming out of recession will not be immediately felt by the people.
He said the ongoing efforts towards economy diversification and creation of employment opportunities are the immediate factors the government must focus attention on to prevent recession from returning full force.
Kale, made the statement in Abuja at a news conference, contending that the government must work hard to sustain the growth of the economy by way of generating employment opportunities for the youths to catalyse the growth of the production sector in the country.
He expressed dismay that the failure of government to keep the indices that brought the recession at bay may lead to full return of economic down turn in Nigeria.
“There is a different stage Nigeria must go through before the masses will feel the effects of going out of recession.
“Out of recession is the first step which is very important then the country can talk of economic recovery which is going back to where Nigeria was before the recession.
“Recession is just a technical word; we are comparing 2017 and 2016,’’ he said.
“Recession is not about the price of your goods, not whether unemployment is going up or down, not whether you have quality education; it’s purely your gross domestic product.
“Your outputs of goods and services in the economy are going down and the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) is an accumulation of 46 different economic activities in Nigeria and the overall number.
“Whether positive or negative will determine whether you are in recession or out of recession.
“Now, within those 46 activities, some sectors will do very well and will be positive, some will do badly, some will do worse and some will stay the same way they are.’’
Kale said the important thing for the country was to maintain the situation so that Nigeria would not go back to recession.
According to him, the country must not relax because the GDP is still on the negative side.
He said that coming out of recession was not about quality but the quantum of growth.
Meanwhile, Nigerians have continued to query the excitement that followed Tuesday’s news of the nation’s exit from its economic recession, as reports from across the six geo-political zones indicate that prices of most food items remained outrageously out of reach of average Nigerians.
In response to a question that the exit from recession was a political gimmick, Kale said GDP report which showed that Nigeria exited recession in the second quarter was not politically motivated.
“It is not political because it is the same bureau that gave other negative data,” he said.
“Things have improved but we are not there yet, it is only food prices that are still high.’’
According to him, the bureau is an agency of government that has the independence to carry out survey and publish its findings based on international best practices.
“The fact that the NBS can boldly say, when the Statistician-General is up for renewal, that the economy is in recession and inflation has gone up to 17 per cent, speaks a lot about the integrity of the bureau,” he said.
“So, in terms of bureau doctoring numbers for politicians, I don’t think anyone can make that claim and NBS can never be political. We don’t do it.
“There is a different stage Nigeria must go through before the masses will feel the effects of going out of recession,” he said.
“Out of recession is the first step which is very important. Then the country can talk of economic recovery, which is going back to where Nigeria was before the recession.