Depressed economy will bounce back, says Buhari

NIGERIA’S economy which has been projected to go into recession this quarter will return to recovery next year, the President said on Thursday.

President Muhammadu Buhari raised the hope when he presented the 2021 budget estimates for Federal lawmakers consideration.

He tagged the N13.08 trillion estimates as Budget of Economic Recovery and Resilience.

Buhari said: “The Nigerian economy is currently facing serious challenges, with the macroeconomic environment being significantly disrupted by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

“Real Gross Domestic Product (‘GDP’) growth declined by 6.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2020.

“This ended the three-year trend of positive, but modest, real GDP growth recorded since the second quarter of 2017.

“I am glad to note that through our collective efforts, our economy performed relatively better than that of many other developed and emerging economies.”

According to the President, the economy may slip because the “GDP growth is projected to be negative in the third quarter of this year. As such, our economy may relapse into the second recession in four years, with significant adverse consequences”.

He added: “We are working assiduously to ensure a rapid recovery in 2021. We remain committed to implementing programmes to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty over the next 10 years.”

The President said liquidity of the economy will be boosted with the withdrawal of subsidy and the reforms of the electricity sector.

He said: “The new petrol pricing regime has freed up resources that was allocated to subsidise petroleum products. Similarly, the ongoing IPPIS verification exercise has closed gaps that encourage ghost workers or pensioners. The service reflective electricity tariffs will help resolve liquidity crisis in the power sector and make the sector attractive to foreign investment.”

He noted that since skills’ deficits limit employment opportunities in the formal economy, various skills’ development programmes are being implemented simultaneously to address the problem frontally.

“For instance, the Government is implementing the Special Public Works programme to provide employment opportunities to 774,000 youths across the 774 local government areas of Nigeria.

“We have also recently introduced the N25 billion Nigeria Youth Investment Fund.

“We thank all Nigerians, for your perseverance and continued support during these difficult times. We remain unwavering in our commitment to actualise our vision of a bright future for everyone.”

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