Thursday, 26 May 2016

Olisa Agbakoba ‘Nigeria in depression not recession,’ Lawyer says

 Ex-NBA President, Olisa Agbakoba

Prominent Lawer, Olisa Agbakoba has said that Nigeria is in a depression, not a recession as claimed by Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele.

Agbakoba also criticized President Muhammadu Buhari for not having clear-cut economic solutions to the present hardship in the country, ThisDay reports.
“We are no more in recession, we are now in depression because five consecutive quarterly growth which Q1 2016 shows a negative balance is a depression,” he said at a press conference in Lagos on Wednesday, May 25, 2016.
“Technically speaking, you calculate growth rate by GDP over population, goods and service produced over population. Do you know the current growth rate for the Q1? According to the National Bureau of Statistics, it is 0.34. The last growth rate was two, so we lost two.
“Therefore, we are now at the depression stage. Also, if you look at all the critical indexes, you will find out that things are really bad, foreign direct investment is zero, stock market is down, petroleum prices are up, in fact no good news.“And in appraising the one year of President Buhari government, we must also acknowledge the crises of the old order. So all I am saying is the crises of the old order and the hope of change, and now what has happened?
“The crises of the old order meant that things were very difficult, there was high rate of corruption, insecurity occasioned by Boko Haram among others, so how has President Buhari handled all these?
“In the beginning, I was cautiously positive, but now, I am cautiously negative. I am waiting to see what will happen, but in fairness to Buhari, he has been challenged by the envisaged crises of governance that he found. These crises meant that he was bucked down.
“Also, more credit should go to him in respect of the anti-corruption war but the anti-graft programme is a rigmarole, and like I said, if you keep looking in the rear mirror, you don’t move. The anti-corruption programme is suffering from the equivalent of a driver who is looking in the rear mirror on what has happened behind, he is not going to move forward.
“We know that many people have stolen money, but what we want to see is an aggressive action plan. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other law enforcement agencies clearly don’t have the resources, capacity and skill, so the resources we could have gathered (at least 3 to 4 trillion naira from the anti-graft war) are not coming in.
“We hear a lot about corruption, although quite agreed that there have been strong action from the government in respect to corruption, insecurity has had flip flops-Fulani herdsmen, kidnappings, Niger Delta militancy, and the suppressed Boko Haram-with all these, and we need a new anti-corruption apparatus that can deliver results but let’s also agree that something has happened in the anti-graft war.
“We need to rebalance the federation. We need to include all Nigerians. So I think that the president appraisal in handling political stability in the country has be rather weak. Going forward, he needs to address how to make Nigeria a place where everybody participate, so that little issues don’t this national ramifications,” he added.
Emefiele had said, on May 24, that a recession is imminent in Nigeria due to a four-month delay in passing the nation’s budget.

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