Yesterday, the nation was greeted with great news. The National Bureau of Statistics announced that the Nigerian economy has recorded a growth of 0.55% in this quarter and pulled out of its recession. After recording decline in growth in five consecutive quarters, leading to the nation’s first economic recession in two decades. The economy experienced the negative effects of bad policies, inadequate planning, and incompetence in the second half of 2016.
Apparently, different sectors of the economy including oil and agriculture have done relatively well over the last quarter. What this should mean is an improved state of general affairs in Nigeria, particularly for the masses who have suffered immeasurably over the past year. Also, it should signal to the government the different ways to diversify the economy to avoid another economic recession.
Taking a closer look at the numbers the economy has produced in the last year or so, it has been said in some circles that we have been in a depression rather than a recession. Objectively, this claim should not be dismissed. The economy sustained negative growth for five consecutive quarters which has the ingredients of a depression basted all over it.
Although, this decline lasted five quarters other circles refuse to accept the term “depression” and argue it has been loosely used. One thing is for certain though; in the last year the state of the economy has not been favourable to citizens and the government alike.
Now, the question on the lips of most Nigerians would be, “how much will the standard of living improve over time?” This question is relative, as it depends on the actions taken by the government in the long run. Recording a positive growth in the economy is one thing, sustaining that growth over time is a different ball game. The logical reply by the government should be diversifying the economy, improving on existing sectors to allow adequate growth and clamping down on its foreign exchange policies.
One would wonder if the present Nigerian government is capable of enacting the right changes needed to record positive growth in subsequent quarters.