The Senate president, Ahmed Lawan said the Nigerian economy is not in bad shape despite having witnessed a contraction of -6.10% in the second quarter of 2020, according to a statement by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Lawan stated this at the end of Thursday’s meeting of the Council of State, chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, where they discussed the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and what the government is doing to keep the economy going.
The Senate President who cited an economic report from the NBS, said he is impressed with what has been achieved in the area of ensuring that the economy stays afloat, despite the negative growth.
According to him, Nigerian economy is not doing badly when compared to more robust economies like the USA and Germany, who have recorded significant economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He said:
“Yes we still have a long way to go, we know where we would have loved to be, but when you are faced with COVID-19, you know that this is a global pandemic and no country has been spared and when you compare your performance in the area of economy with other giants, more robust economies like the USA and Germany, you’ll be happy that you have experienced only -6 downturn in your economy when others have 19, others have even more, those are economies that are stronger, that have put in more resources to address the COVID-19 challenges.
“We have tried to put in what we can, but I think the secret here is we have been able to sustain what we are doing even with lesser resources, but I think -6, as reported by the NBS, that’s the downwards turn in our GDP.
“Ordinarily we shouldn’t be happy with it, but in the current circumstance where every country is experiencing this kind of thing, South Africa, the second largest economy in Africa, is experiencing worse.”
While he commended the performance of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, he admonished the government to work on a post-COVID-19 economy.
“We should continue to invest to ensure that we protect the employment of our people so that our people don’t fall into joblessness. We should provide palliatives as much as we can for those who are so disadvantaged and require the support of the federal government,” he said.
KanyiDaily recalls that the Presidency had insisted that Nigeria needs change and President Buhari remains the best hope for the nation’s economy because of his will and determination to deliver.