By Folasade Folarin
Abuja – Mr Victor Muruako, Acting Chairman, Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) has advised the Federal Government to capitalise on the nation’s exit from recession to implement the recovery plan.
Muruako said the Federal Government should focus on the implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) as the country exited recession.
The ERGP, which was launched in April by President Muhammadu Buhari, seeks to restore the nation’s economic status following the high rate of inflation and recession.
He made the call on Wednesday in Abuja as the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced that the country was out of recession.
He commended the president and the economic team for coming up with plans and policies geared toward setting the economy on the path of recovery.
Muruako said that the target should go beyond getting the nation out of recession but maintaining a healthy economy.
“It is a good thing we are out of recession and we are very happy that the conscious efforts of the president and the economic team were able to bring us out of it.
“We thank God the economic team was able to come out with a plan which eventually brought us out of it.
“It was one of those strategies meant not just to come out of recession but also to ensure the growth of the economy because the real challenge is not coming out of recession but growing the economy.
“We must commend the government when they get it right and this is a good development that calls for cheers and celebration,’’ he said.
Dr Remi Medupin of the Department of Economics, Al-Hikman University, Ilorin, also said that exiting recession was a very good development as it signaled a growth in the economy.
He said that the output in agricultural produce in recent times had increased, which had helped boost the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures.
“There has been a lot of increase in output in the agricultural sector which has had an impact on the GDP and I know this because I interact with a lot of farmers.
“There is also confidence in the economy because of the anti-corruption fight of the government.’’
He, however, said that the exit from recession should be evident in the living condition of the people.
The Nigerian economy, the biggest in Africa slipped into recession in 2016, but the NBS on Tuesday reported that it had exited recession.
The data released by NBS showed that the country’s GDP grew by 0.55 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms in the second quarter of 2017.
It added that the recovery was driven principally by the performance of four main sectors of oil, agriculture, manufacturing and trade.
The bureau stated that the figure indicated the economy was out of recession after five consecutive quarters of contraction since first quarter of 2016.