The simple answer to the question above is, NO! That is not just the opinion of the writer of this article but that of Yemi Kale, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Bureau of Statistics, the organisation that made the announcement declaring the recession over.
In his words, “Recession is just a technical word; we are comparing 2017 and 2016.”
“Recession is not about the price of your goods, not whether unemployment is going up or down, not whether you have quality education; it’s purely your gross domestic product,” he said.
“Your outputs of goods and services in the economy are going down and the gross domestic products (GDP) is an accumulation of 46 different economic activities in Nigeria and the overall number.
“Whether positive or negative will determine whether you are in recession or out of recession.
“Now, within those 46 activities, some sectors will do very well and will be positive, some will do badly, some will do worse and some will stay the same way they are.”
The actual economic situation of any country is measured not by the country’s GDP but by the standard of living of the people who live in that country.
There are two things that directly affect people living in any particular country, inflation and unemployment rates and those are two of the things the CEO mentioned in his statement.
Since the Buhari administration took office in May 2015, there has been a steady rise in unemployment rate in Nigeria. At the end of the second quarter in 2015 unemployment rate in Nigeria was just under 10% but by the end of the fourth quarter of 2016 it had jumped up to 14%. Compare that to the fact that between the first quarter of 2014 until the second quarter of 2015, unemployment rate held steady at 10% or just under.
The CPI or Consumer Price Index is the calculation of the differences in prices of consumer products over a period. It is used to measure the rate of increment in prices of consumer products from time to time. This measurement is then used to calculate the inflation rate.
The CPI for Nigeria makes a really sad reading: The month on month CPI is 1.21% meaning there’s at least a one percent increase in the price of consumer products every month, leading to a 16.05% increase yearly. The yearly increase in prices of consumer products in Nigeria, according to the National Bureau of Statistics is 17.47%.
In simple language if you bought an item for N100 today by this time next year that item would cost you on average N117:00 to purchase and if something is not done about the situation it would continue to rise. The real problem with that is that salaries are not increasing at the same level.
In the words of the CEO of the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria coming out of recession will not solve the ever rising unemployment and inflation rates highlighted above meaning the answer to the question, “Will Nigeria coming out of Recession Have any positive impact on the masses?” is sadly still, ‘No’.