Speaking to state house correspondents at the end of the National Economic Council, NEC, yesterday July 21st, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, said that the economy is presently in a bad shape but would start to pick up as from the third quarter. He confirmed Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun’s comment at the senate briefing yesterday that Nigeria is technically in recession.
“Recession is basically when you have two quarters of negative growth. We had a first quarter of negative growth and we are still waiting to get all the figures for the second quarter, which has just ended in June. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) will be giving us all the figures but if as we suspect the second quarter is also negative, then of course technically you could say that we are in recession if those figures turned out to be so. But even if we are not, the situation in the economy right now is one that, of course, we are addressing. Some of it was expected, some of it was not. We did expect the low oil price but we did not expect the level of disruption that we got in the Niger Delta, such that oil production went down and we are not likely to achieve the 2.2 million barrels per day because it went down to 1.2 million barrels per day, a little over about 1.3 million barrels per day. So you can imagine the impact of that. Measures are being taken to address those issues. We expect that by the third quarter we will start to pick up and we expect to finish the year in positive territory. That is what we are expecting. We expect to be marginally positive by the end of this year. But by next year we will now start to pick up and we will have much more growth next year,” he said.