Following the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announcement that the country has exited economic recession, some Nigerians have doubted the claim saying their daily hardship experiences have not improved for better.
Our Correspondent who visited some densely populated areas in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on Wednesday, was told by most of the respondents that they were still waiting for the manifestations of economic recovery in their daily living.
At Dutse ultramodern market, a meat seller who identified himself as Alhaji Kasali, described the claim as an ordinary paper work which is different from reality of life.
Kasali said: “I challenge those who said we are no more in recession to come and prove it for us here. They will just sit in their offices with full Air Condition (AC) and be deceiving themselves thinking they are deceiving us.
“See meat on my table, if we are not in recession I won’t even have time to talk to you at this hour because there would be customers everywhere around me,” he lamented.
Another food vendor, Mrs Juliet Okoro, said the lack of purchasing power by many Nigerians has terribly affected her business.
“My brother, people don’t have money to buy food again. I used to sell two coolers of rice and beans here before but now if I cook one full pot I will still go home with almost half cooler. The situation is bad.”
Also speaking, a taxi driver Shuaibu Omeiza, at a Mega filling station, who said he didn’t understand the different between when the country was in economic recession and now, made reference to the report that government had reduced pump price of Petroleum to N142 per liter which is yet to be implemented by the marketers.
“We are used to deceiving ourselves in this country. How can government say we are out of recession when larger percentage are still living in abject poverty? Look at this filling station, an NNPC filling state for that matter is yet to reduce the pump price to N142 as claimed in the news by this same government. Where is the change?” He asked.
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) said it has fulfilled a promise made to Nigerians in 2015 to restore the economic situation of the country following the disclosures by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) respectively that the country has exited recession.
The party, while rejoicing Nigeria’s reported exit from economic recession after five consecutive quarters of contraction, said the country’s foreign reserve has now hit $32 billion, the highest mark since January 2015.
In a statement in Abuja, the APC National Publicity Secretary, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, said the country’s exit from recession was in tandem with the current administration’s forecast that the country will experience economic growth in 2017, adding that this has shown “that the President Buhari APC-led administration is one that keeps its promises.
“We commend the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari on the economic recovery efforts which has evidently started to yield fruits. The APC also commends the National Assembly as it continues to work with the executive on improving the economy and other areas of national life.
“The APC thanks Nigerians for their patience, understanding and support for the President Buhari administration while the economy was in recession. Although there remains much more work to be done, we assure Nigerians that the administration remains focused on its effort to sustain the economy on the path of growth.”
The party recalled that during the 2015 elections, “the APC promised to curb corruption, restore the economy and ensure security of the nation.
“As the President Buhari administration works assiduously to build a new solid foundation, credible image and pull the country out of the present hardships, we appeal for continued patience and the cooperation from Nigerians. While these are difficult times for many Nigerians, we must sustain the hope that brighter days are ahead of us.”