The Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja II, has urged the Federal Government to develop a “clear” economic recovery plan capable of taking Nigeria out of recession.
According to a press statement by Ooni’s Director of Media and Public Affairs, Moses Olafare, titled ‘Ooni charges FG on economic recovery plan as he rejoices with Christians, says Coronavirus (COVID-19) second wave real’.
The monarch in his Christmas/New Year message, charged the Federal Government to aggressively pursue youth emancipation programmes.
He asked the FG to “urgently unveil recovery plans and policies capable of alleviating the suffering inflicted on the citizens by the current economic crisis that has bedevilled the country”.
Ooni, who is the Co-chairman of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, while hoping for a better economy in the year 2021, described the current economic reality in the country as disheartening, warning that a clear economic policy is needed to revive the country.
He said, “We started this year 2020 with a lot of hopes and aspirations, particularly on the country getting it right economically towards the prosperity of the entire citizenry, but unfortunately the COVID-19 pandemic crept in, sinking the economy in another recession.
It has happened this way, and the only way out is for the government to take responsibility.
“Government policies must be executed in a way that standard of living of the citizens, particularly the youths is upgraded which will, in turn, reduce the crime rate in the country.”
Amid rising debt profile, inflation, and unemployment, Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, had in November, entered its second recession in five years as official figures published on Saturday showed that the 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 showed that the country’s GDP dropped by 10.92 per cent in 1983 and 1.2 per cent in 1984.
The World Bank said in June that the collapse in crude oil prices, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic was expected to “plunge the Nigerian economy into a severe recession, the worst since the 1980s”.
The NBS, in its Gross Domestic Product report for Q3, said the GDP, the broadest measure of economic prosperity, fell by 3.62 per cent in the three months up till September.
For the first time in more than three years, the Nigerian economy shrank in Q2 as the GDP fell by 6.10 per cent, compared with a growth of 1.87 per cent in Q1.