The news that the Nigerian economy has entered into recession requires urgent action to halt the trend and the adoption of measures for recovery, the Director General, National Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Ambassador Ayo Olukanni, has said.
The DG in a statement made available to the Blueprint noted that the contraction of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2020, especially the negative rates of growth are not surprising, adding the contraction of GDP in two consecutive Quarters (minus) -6.1% in Q2, 2020 (dropping by 7.9 percentage-points from 1.8% in the 1st Quarter of year 2020) and (minus) -3.62% in Q3, 2020, reflects the effects of the near total closure of the Nigerian economy for the months of April to June 2020.
He said the COVID-19 pandemic during this period, led to workforce depletion, either through corona-virus infections or the mitigation policies of social distancing and isolation to stop the exponential spread.
He noted also that the pandemic affected the global price of crude oil and consequently a negative impact on government revenue and foreign exchange reserves.
“At that time, in our reactions to the trend of the economy we projected that by the end of the year, Nigeria could “officially” be in the state of economic recession and any speedy recovery (as always) would depend on government policies.
We consequently counselled that government at all levels resist the urge to tax or place an economic burden on the citizenry, as this will stifle economic activity and persist the cycle of recession.
“We further counselled that governments at all levels adopt policies that mitigate workforce depletion (i.e. encourage production processes that reduce corona-virus infections, emphasize early detection with adequate facilities for isolation and treatment) and stimulate economic activity by creating a regulatory environment that ensures that citizens take on productive activities.