The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, says the Nigerian economy is doing well compared to the economies of South Africa, Russia and other countries in recession.
He said the recession is inevitable due to the global collapse in oil prices occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.
The minister spoke Wednesday on NTA Good Morning Nigeria Show monitored by The PUNCH.
The PUNCH had reported that amid a rising debt profile, inflation and unemployment, the Nigerian economy shrank again in the third quarter of this year.
This year’s recession is the worst in 36 years as data obtained from the World Bank indicated that the country’s Gross Domestic Product dropped by 10.92 per cent in 1983 and 1.2 per cent in 1984.
The National Bureau of Statistics, in its report for third quarter of 2020 released on Saturday, said the GDP, the broadest measure of economic prosperity, fell by 3.62 per cent in the three months up till September.
But speaking today, the minister said the government is optimistic that with its intervention measures, the recession will be short-lived.
Mohammed said: “It is true we are in a recession. Recession comes when a country records two consecutive quarters of negative growths. But we must go beyond that to understand that despite that, our economy is still very well in circumstances.
“The main reason why we have entered into this recession is the oil sector. The oil sector recorded -13.89% and that is the worst in 14 quarters. Of course, it is easy to understand why; with the pandemic, there is low demand for oil…but when you look at the non-oil sector which is about -2.51 % in Q3, it is far better than what it was in the Q2.
“Overall, yes, we are in a recession and it is inevitable but while our Q2 result was -6.1%, South Africa was -50% and as we speak today, Finland, Hungary, Spain, Mexico, Russia, Romania, Belgium, Austria have all fallen into recession.
“But we are very confident that with the intervention policies, with the fiscal and monetary interventions the government has put in place, the recession will be short-lived.”