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CBN says Governors raised false alarm on recession

By Bukola Olasanmi

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has dismissed the alarm raised by state governors that the economy might relapse into recession.

CBN Deputy Governor Economic Policy Dr. Joseph Nnanna, who represented the CBN Governor Mr. Godwin Emefiele, dismissed the governors’ claims at the public presentation of the Spring 2019 edition of Regional Economic Outlook (REO) by International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Abuja.

He said: “We are making smooth progress towards growth and by end of 2019, all things being equal, we are going to likely have between 2.8% and 3% GDP growth rate.

“Since the third quarter of 2016, when we started coming out of recession, we have embarked on tight monetary policy in all its ramifications.

‘’Right now, we are on the path of achieving our price stability goal of single digit inflation.

‘’Are we going to witness increased inflation or are we sliding back into recession? My answer is no. But is that adequate?

“My answer is no. 3% GDP real growth rate is not enough for Nigeria where our population growth rate is 3.2%.

“Per capita growth rate is still negative but definitely, we are not going through the era of 2016 when we had a recession. That won’t happen hopefully. Not under CBN watch.”

The major problem afflicting the labour sector, Nnanna said, is more of underemployment than outright unemployment “because majority of Nigerians are employed one way or another but they are functioning below capacity.

“They are engaged in the informal sector which is not performing optimally. We also have a huge infrastructure deficit.

“Infrastructure is the major constrain to economic development and growth. This has to be repaired.”

He urged the governors and other policy makers to tackle the menace of non-inclusive growth because “it is inclusive growth that we need in Nigeria than any other thing.”

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