Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, and her counterpart in the Budget Ministry, Udoma Udo- Udoma today gave conflicting assessment of the state of the Nigerian economy.
Adeosun, who appeared before the Senate to brief the lawmakers on the state of the economy, remarked that the economy was technically in a state of recession.
She said the federal government is aware of the sufferings the recession have caused Nigerians but that steps are being taken to ensure that the nation gets out of its present economic challenge.
Adeosun also urged Nigerians not to panic over recent international reports casting the nation’s economy in bad light but should rather believe in the policies of government geared towards achieving a stable economy.
She explained to the lawmakers certain government’s strategies aimed at ensuring fiscal discipline in the face of the recession, including a huge reduction in recurrent expenditure.
The Minister also told the lawmakers that N14 billion has been released for the Social Intervention Programme, while a total of N247 billion capital releases has been made and expressed confidence that these will stimulate economic activities.
However, in a swift reaction, Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo-Udoma, denied claims made by the Finance Minister, insisting that Nigeria’s economy is not yet in recession.
Udoma said this while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the National Economic Council meeting presided over by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.
Udo-Udoma explained that the first quarter of the year may have been negative, but it is only when the second quarter is negative that one can conclude that there is a recession.
He added that government is doing its best to stop the country from plunging into recession despite the fact that the year has been difficult, and urged Nigerians to remain hopeful and patient.