Following the news that Nigeria had come out of recession, the Executive Director of the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Segun Awolowo, said that the country’s economy cannot continue to be dependent on oil for revenue.
He said that while speaking in Abuja to State House correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said that the country exiting recession was “the biggest surprise”.
Awolowo listed the negative impact of the pandemic on global economies but noted that the Nigerian economy continued to show resistance.
He said, “To say 2020 was a year of surprises would be an understatement – the world is still counting the devastating effects such as the loss of $3.7trn of economic output, 225 million jobs, and over two million lives.
“The biggest surprise was Nigeria’s swift recovery from recession in Q4 of 2020. We woke up to the good news yesterday (Thursday).
“Congratulations to Mr President! In a now less predictable, less reliable and less generous world, he has definitely demonstrated with his leadership that we are able to build a resilient economy that can absorb all global shocks, whatever they may be, known and unknown.”
He stated that the country’s dependence on oil is not sustainable and that a focus on the value chain in a holistic manner would spur the creation of jobs.
“We cannot run an economy that 90 per cent of our earnings is from crude oil,” he added.
“It is just not working and that is what we are seeing throughout the years when we went into first recession when the world oil prices stood worldwide.
“We need to move again from just raw materials, we need to look at the entire value chain and that is where you create jobs and that is where you earn more money.
“So, 10 years time frame we are looking at to get to $30bn, but we must be consistent, we must invest more in the non oil sector than looking for oil.”
The NBS’ Report On Exiting Recession
The Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) had, on Thursday, stated that the country had exited recession by a slight margin.
It noted that the country had seen a 0.11 percent year-on-year growth and that the “positive growth reflects the gradual return of economic activities”.
It stated, “Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.11 percent (year-on-year) in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2020, representing the first positive quarterly growth in the last three quarters.
“As a result, while the Q4 2020 growth rate was lower than growth rate recorded the previous year by –2.44 percentage points, it was higher by 3.74 percentage points compared to Q3 2020.
“On a quarter-on-quarter basis, real GDP growth was 9.68 percent indicating a second positive consecutive quarter-on-quarter real growth rate in 2020 after two negative quarters.”