Economic Recession: We Are On Top of Situation - FG

President Buhari and CBN Governor Emefiele.
Nigerians should entertain no fear about the economic recession in the country, said Information and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

The Federal Government is on top of the situation, he said at a forum of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

His words: “What I can assure you is that we are on top of the situation and we are confident that the second half of the year will be better than the previous.” 

He also dismissed as preposterous calls by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari on account of the economic crisis.

He added: “One thing we cannot take away from this government is that it is open, honest and will not keep Nigerians in the dark. About a month ago, the Minister of Finance actually told all of us that we are already technically in recession.

“Recession is not an event; it is a process. We knew more than five years ago that the country is heading towards recession because the structure of our economy is faulty.

“It is faulty in the sense that for many years, we have relied in one product, crude oil.

“The 2016 budget projected 2.2 million barrels per day at 38 dollars. But because of the activities of the militants in the Niger Delta region, we are down to 1.2 to 1.4 million per barrels a day.

“We have lost about one third of production capacity. Combine all these together, we are heading for recession especially when there is no reserve to cushion the effects."

Besides, the minister said the nation’s economy was driven by consumption and not production.

He, therefore, appealed to Nigerians to curb their appetite, particularly for foreign produced goods, and patronise made-in-Nigeria products.

He said government on its part would continue to provide incentives to encourage manufacturers and ensure that the cost of doing business is competitive.