By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
Nigeria’s economy performed better than many global economies despite the recession which hit the country at the weekend, the Federal Government maintained on Monday.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed stated this at the 26 edition of the Nigerian Economy Summit (NESG) which kicked off in Abuja on Monday.
According to the Minister, despite the negative growth, the economy demonstrated strong resilience in areas such as production, telecommunications, financial institutions, food and beverage manufacturing, construction services, public administration, and courier services.
Nigeria recorded its worsts recession since 1987 as the Gross Domestic Product in real terms declined by -3.62% (year-on-year) in the third quarter of 2020.
The contraction marked the beginning of a full-blown recession and second consecutive contraction from -6.10 per cent recorded in the previous quarter of this year, in the third quarter GDP report, released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Saturday.
According to the report, oil GDP contracted by -13.89 per cent from -6.63 per cent in the second quarter of this year and 6.49 per cent in Q3 2019. The non-Oil GDP contracted -2.51 per cent from -6.05 per cent in Q2 2020 and 1.85 per cent in Q3 2019
Ahmed noted that, since the inception of the NESG 25 years ago, it has become one of the largest annual gatherings dedicated to finding solutions to the challenges facing the Nigerian Economy.
“It has helped to shape government policies, reforms and sector transformation. Despite the recession, Nigeria has out performed many economies in terms of economic growth.
“Some economic activities also demonstrated strong resilience. They include production, telecommunications, financial institutions, food and beverage manufacturing, construction services, public administration, and courier services.”
The Minister said the Federal Government in partnership with the NESG has been working together on the national implementation plans; as well as the regional and local development plans.
The Chairman of NESG, Asue Ighodalo said the NESG and the private sector must do more to address policy needs.
He said, “We come to the table each year with clear and defined obstacles in search of solutions. The NESG and private sector must do more to address policy needs.
“As far as we may have come, we have not come far enough. Let this 26th Summit be the one where we collectively resolve to shun off greed, nepotism, corruption.
“It is time that we are brave with facing our realities with strength, purpose, and integrity.”
Ighodalo pointed out that China has shown Nigeria what a serious nation can do when it looks back on its history and resolves never to fail its citizens.
He said, “It is essential to note that this comparison with China is not misplaced. The Chinese economy is on track to grow by one per cent with almost twice as many cases and as many deaths.
“The Chinese economy has not contracted since 1976 through trade wars and now a pandemic. This Summit must be different. It must emphasize the execution of endless dialogues. The #NES26 summit is about building partnerships. We all can no longer work successfully alone.”
According to him, no meaningful development can be achieved if the government does not examine many more policy recommendations that have not been acted upon over the years.