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Despite negative growth, Nigeria’s economy not bad — Lawan

Although Nigeria’s economy witnessed a contraction of -6.10 per cent in the second quarter of 2020, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has said it is not doing badly.


He made the statement at the end of Thursday’s meeting of the Council of State, chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.


The lawmaker said top among the topics discussed at the meeting is the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and what the government is doing to keep the economy going.


He said he is impressed with what has been achieved in the area of ensuring that the economy stays afloat, despite the negative growth.


According to data released by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the contraction, which is the largest in Nigeria’s economy in at least 10 years, was largely caused by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, as Nigeria shut a large part of her economy during the period.


“The decline was largely attributable to significantly lower levels of both domestic and international economic activity during the quarter, which resulted from nationwide shutdown efforts aimed at containing the COVID-19 pandemic,” the NBS said.


In his remarks, Mr Lawan said Nigeria is not in a difficult situation, when compared to other countries.


“Yes we still have a long way to go, we know where we would have loved to be, but when you are faced with COVID-19, you know that this is a global pandemic and no country has been spared and when you compare your performance in the area of economy with other giants, more robust economies like the USA and Germany, you’ll be happy that you have experienced only -6 downturn in your economy when others have 19, others have even more, those are economies that are stronger, that have put in more resources to address the COVID-19 challenges.


“We have tried to put in what we can, but I think the secret here is we have been able to sustain what we are doing even with lesser resources, but I think -6, as reported by the NBS, that’s the downwards turn in our GDP. Ordinarily we shouldn’t be happy with it, but in the current circumstance where every country is experiencing this kind of thing, South Africa, the second largest economy in Africa, is experiencing worse.”

While he commended the performance of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, he admonished the government to work on a post-COVID-19 economy.


“We should continue to invest to ensure that we protect the employment of our people so that our people don’t fall into joblessness. We should provide palliatives as much as we can for those who are so disadvantaged and require the support of the federal government,” he said.


His comments comes barely 48 hours after the presidency made similar remarks, hailing the performance of the economy.


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