Nigeria’s economy over the years, especially the last few decades has witnessed series of massive economic downturns. The country’s recession level is therefore no surprise.
Mos recently. around November 2020, Nigeria witnessed an expected fall in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP), resulting to the second and worst recession under the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari since the 1980’s.
The first, was shortly after his commencement of office as the country’s president in August, 2016. The last recession before this was in 1991, after experiencing a prolonged recession from 1982 until 1984 (National Bureau of Statistics figures), within which President Muhammadu Buhari was also in military power, after a military coup in 1983.
The drop in the prices of crude oil between 2014-2016, the drop in commodity prices, decline in foreign exchange inflows, increasing the flow of exchange rate from at the parallel market, slowdown in government spending, as a result of drop in government revenue, amongst other vulnerabilities constituted the reasons for the fall in Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product resulting to the 2016 recession.
Average Nigerians, with their optimistic expectations and a bid to change and drift the status quo in the country’s economy, as well as other devastating sectors have through their individual franchise voted various governments into power. However, the fruitlessness of their efforts especially with the rising constancy of economic recession constitutes a total deterrence to a well-meaning Nigerian.
The hovering devastating effects sit on almost every citizen, weighing heavily as each day moves. Envisage the situation of a country without effective job creation/opportunity strategies, experiencing economic decrease, which of itself indicates unemployment rise, doleful!
The country’s GDP decline, according to specialists is mostly associated and viewed as an aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. Before the pandemic, the expected economic growth rate as estimated by a World Bank Report, “Nigeria In Times of Covid-19: Laying Foundations for a Strong Recovery” was 2.1 % in 2020 but if Covid-19 is not contained by the third quarter of 2020, the contraction percentage is 3.2 but is likely to increase as the pandemic increases.
Even the poverty rate has increased from 2 million before the pandemic to 7 million, after the virus. In the heat of unemployment, masses both graduates and non-graduates are forced into small scale businesses. This too receives its recession blow as retail sales is expected to drastically fall, even manufacturing growth is drastically slowed as consumers are not left out, personal income also declines.
However, not much is expected from the economy of a country that had only a few years back risen from recession, with a consistently rising dollar rate. An already struggling country coupled with the ills of Covid-19 birthed an extremely depressing recession, a recession with depression.
A large part of the commodities used in the country are imported, from Machinery, Pharmaceuticals, cereals, food items, to as little as matchstick, even Mineral fuels including oil. Crude oil which makes up more than 80% of Nigeria’s exports and 50% of the overall government revenue is thus an important contributor to the economy.
Therefore, the foremost step to a steady economy is self- sufficiency. This is however notably difficult considering the limitations of Nigeria’s production capacity, thereby making the process a narrowly cumbersome but not totally unachievable one.
Embracing Nigerian-made goods with the absence of stereotype is the first step to economic recovery for every average Nigerian.
With the implementation of monetary and fiscal policies by the Government and Central Bank, as well as the promotion of exportation, amidst other workable policies, the recovery, sustainability, and steadiness of Nigeria’s economy is achievable.