‘Current economic policies can’t take Nigeria out of recession’ – Punch

By Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja

The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry has said that the current monetary and fiscal policies being implemented by the Federal Government are not capable of taking the country out of the current recession.

It disagreed with the position of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, that the country would start coming out of recession by the fourth quarter of this year.

Emefiele had while speaking with media executives in Lagos on Saturday said, “We are already in the valley, the only direction is to go up the hill and the government is doing everything possible to ensure that we move up the hill.

“I am optimistic that based on the actions being taken by the monetary and fiscal authorities, the fourth quarter results will show evidence that we have started to move out of the recession. The worst is over. The Nigerian economy is on the path of recovery and growth.”

But the ACCI argued that even with the right economic policies, it would take the country about five years to come out of the current crisis.

The President, ACCI, Mr. Tony Ejinkeonye, said in a statement that the chamber was of the view that the Federal Government had not put in place adequate measures to address the current economic challenges.

He said, “We have economic recession, economic recovery and economic boom. It takes a period of five years for a country to recover from recession before it can start talking of economic boom; that is, if the right measures are in place.

“We have yet to know the physical measures the government has put in place to enable us to know that we are on the right track. Even when the right decisions and policies are set out, we do not agree that recovery will come too soon.

“That means they have only one quarter to get us out of the recession that is so deep. We do not believe that. It will take a while longer.”

Ejinkeonye charged the government to open up to Nigerians on the real situation of things, adding that this was the only viable way for stakeholders in the economy to proffer workable solutions to the crisis.

He added, “Thailand went into recession and it was just last year they came out of it. The Federal Government is either being economic with the truth or not telling us what is really happening.

“Government does not have structures on ground to suggest that we will come out of recession any time soon. I do not think it is going to happen.”