The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party’s Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, has dismissed the celebration of the country’s exit from recession.
Makarfi, in an SMS to newsmen on Tuesday, described the news of the exit as mere statistics, which did not reflect the “reality as it affects ordinary Nigerians.”
“For any economic recovery to be meaningful, it must positively impact on the lives of the people at the lower level,” he stated.
According to the General Secretary, Nigeria Labour Congress, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, despite the exit of the country from recession, there has been no visible improvement in the standard of living, salaries, rate of employment and quality of life of Nigerian workers.
However, he said the positive Gross Domestic Product growth in the second quarter was commendable, adding that if the upward trend was sustained in subsequent quarters, the impact on the livelihood of Nigerians and workers would be felt.
Reactions from a cross section of Nigerians also showed that there had been no significant improvement in the prices of consumer products, as the economic rationing of sizes of some manufactured food items remained the same.
A banker, Mrs. Damilola Ehinmitan, explained that the naira to dollar exchange remained high at 305 in the interbank market and between 360 and 365 at the parallel market, adding that this did not reflect economic growth.
The Managing Director, Remolaz Management Consult, Mr. Ola Azeez, said it was good that the economic statistics were giving Nigerians a ray of hope but their livelihood had not changed.
He said, “An average Nigerian cannot afford three square meals in a day. The companies in the manufacturing sector are still struggling to operate. The size of some packaged food items is still reflective of the poor state of the economy.”
“Economic indices such as purchasing power, disposable income and prices of goods and services have not really confirmed that we are out of recession. What we are hearing from the government is encouraging but we want it to be translated to the masses.”