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Nigeria, South Africa say they no longer have recession

Southern Africa ––South Africa and Nigeria, two of Africa’s leading economies say they have arisen from recession and that their economies are on track.

The authorities of South Africa and Nigeria released figures on Tuesday showing economic growth in the second quarter of this year.

For its part, the South African government says its gross domestic product grew by 2.5 percent in the quarter, supported by the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry sectors. In June, the country announced it had entered recession.

Authorities in Nigeria say the oil-rich nation’s GDP grew by .55 percent in the quarter, assisted by growing oil production.

The West African economic and security power has struggled to diversify its economy beyond oil, and has suffered from Islamic extremists’ insurgency in the north as well as militant attacks on oil facilities in the oil-rich Niger Delta.

Authorities say the country had been in recession since last year.

Nigerians welcomed the end of the recession but the country’s economic growth remained fragile and vulnerable to external shocks or policy slippage, authorities indicated on Tuesday.

Adeyemi Dipeolu, the special adviser on economic affairs to the President, in reaction to the figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for the second quarter of this year, said it was essential for the government to intensify efforts on implementing the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) launched earlier this year by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He observed, however, that unemployment is still relatively high, but job creation was expected to improve as businesses and employers respond positively to the improved business environment and economic outlook.

“This in effect means that the Nigerian economy has exited recession after five successive quarters of contraction,” he said.

For its part, the Nigerian Senate said the improved performance of the trade, manufacturing, agriculture and oil sectors were indications that careful aligned of policies and legislative interventions, the country’s economy could boom beyond its current forecasts and expectations.

Senate’s spokesperson Sabi Abdullahi, said the senate is committed to seeing the unemployment rate and high cost of living in the country improve.
was brought down.

“We will continue to work on our laws, specifically in the areas of access to credit to promote more opportunities for small business owners and opening up of more sectors to private sector participation,” he added.

President Buhari informed media group on Tuesday that the real gain would be improved living conditions for Nigerians.

“I am looking forward to ensuring that the ordinary Nigerian feels the impact,” he said.

Across the country, struggling Nigerians voiced their views, saying the recession report should not only be on paper, but should be seen positively in the lives of the people as the prices of products were still out of the reach of ordinary Nigerians.

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Dave Okonjie

Dave Okonjie is a public affairs analyst, researcher and senior issues correspondent.

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