The stance of the Federal Government that Nigeria is out of recession has been met with mixed reactions from Oyo State residents.
Recall that the country’s economy was plunged into recession in 2016 as indicated by the depreciating and shrinking Gross Domestic Products (GDP), and following the launching of the Economic Growth and Recovery Plan by President Muhammadu Buhari, which covers the period of 3 years, 2017 to 2020, there were declarations from different bodies of the government and international organizations that Nigeria is out of recession.
In July 2017, the Honourable Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun stated that the country is already out of recession “to an extent.” Secondly, this claim was re echoed by the Honourable Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, who on 3rd August 2017 also stated that, “we are already moving out of recession.”
Also the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo maintained that,” Nigeria is emerging from recession.” This statement was supported by the National bureau of Statistics (NBS) on September 5th 2017 with the disclosure that “the nation’s GDP grew by 0.55% in real terms in the second quarter of 2017.”
The International Organizations were not left out of this stance of Nigeria emerging out of recession, with the World Economics declaration that, “after a few quarters of negative growth that saw the death of businesses, the Nigerian economy is out of recession.” World Economics is a London-based organization dedicated to producing financial analysis and insights to world economy.
Following these declaration with economic and statistical backings, the opinion of the residents of Oyo State has been measured to ascertain the real people’s reactions and opinion towards the declaration on the country’s economy being out of recession.
Mr. Olawale Falola, the Managing Director of Alpha-Lima Hardware and Building Company in Ibadan, expressed satisfaction towards the growing of economy back to positive figures and stated that the building material sector is regaining its losses.
“In 2016, our sector incurred so much loss due to abandoned building projects because of the high cost of products. But now, we are experiencing increase in sales and people are beginning to pick up their building projects where they left them. All thanks to the Buhari administration for leading us out of the recession,” he commended.
Mrs. Damilola Yusuf, a civil servant in the state also spoke positively indicating that things are getting back to normal, judging by the prices of food stuffs. “Our salaries were not able to sustain us during that time when prices soared. How could we buy a “Kongo measure” of rice for N750? It was unbearable. But I believe the recession is over because same rice we can now buy at N550 per “Kongo measure”, “She expressed.
In commendation, a Branch Manager of one of the First Generation Banks in Oyo town who pleaded anonymity praised the President for the launching of an Economic Growth and Recovery Plan and working towards achieving stable economy for Nigeria. He however advised the Government to create enabling grounds for Direct Foreign Investment. This can be achieved by reducing the bank borrowing rates. “The President has done so well and I commend his Economic Growth and Recovery Plan for the country. We are emerging out of the hard times but the government has to do more to attract foreign investors into the country. No businessman would want to invest where borrowing rates in the banks stand between 25 to 30%. This is very high. The government needs to do something with the right policy to bring down these rates so as to help businesses afford loans for growth and expansion,” he advised.
Reminiscing the recent Eid-El-Kabir of September 2017, Alhaji Musa Danjuma who deals on livestock, rams and cows in Ibadan stated that the economy still has not fully exited recession, going by the all time low sales of rams and cows experienced during the celebration. Despite his awful experience, he still expressed his faith in the administration to lead the country out of recession completely.
“I remember how many rams and cows we sold during Sallah celebration here in Oyo State, but this last one was bad. The recession is still affecting people, but I believe in President Buhari. He can lead us out of this recession completely,” he hoped.
Despite the reactions and counter reactions expressed by the residents of Oyo State from different walks of life, commendations and condemnations of one policy after another of the current administration, there is one common trait present in all the people, as categorically expressed by Alhaji Musa Danjuma, “. . . believe in President Buhari, he can lead us out of this recession completely.”
The residents of Oyo State believes in the government of President Muhammadu Buhari as measured in the gathered public opinion and also trust in the words of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on June 12 2017 which states that, “Our path to progress and abundance is clear. The tools are in place and the resilient, resourceful and hardworking Nigerian people are set to go. I have no doubt that by the grace of God, the bleakness of recession is about to witness the uplifting dawn of abundance.”
Esan Omolara (Mrs),
Asst. Director of Information,