The Federal Government has rated the Nigerian economic performance high despite contracting by -3.62% (year-on-year) in the third quarter of 2020, the worst recession recorded in over 30 years.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, gave this rating on Monday in Abuja at the 26 edition of the Nigerian Economy Summit, pointed out that despite the recession, the nation’s economy still outperformed many other globally.
In the preceding quarter of this year, the economy contracted by -6.10 per cent.
The latest report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on the real GDP growth of the economy showed that while the 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
Commenting on the recessionary trend of the economy at the NESG forum in Abuja, Ahmed said that despite the negative slump, the economy exhibited strong resilience in key sectors including production, telecommunications, financial institutions, food and beverage manufacturing, construction services, public administration, and courier services.
The Minister explained: “Since the inception of @officialNESG 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 outperformed 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”, Ahmed added
In his address at the forum, the NESG Chairman, Mr. Asue Ighodalo, said the economic think-tank group and the organized private sector must rev up their collaborative engagements in order 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 and corruption.”
In his comparative analysis of the performance of the Nigerian economy and that of China, the NESG chief pointed out that China had shown Nigeria what a serious nation can do when it looks back on its history and decides never to fail its people.
He expatiated: “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.
Noting that no meaningful development can be achieved if the government does not consider many policy recommendations that have not been acted upon over the years, the economic expert said the 2020 NESG Summit must emphasize the execution of endless dialogues since it is about building partnerships.