President Muhammadu Buhari has blamed the country’s current state of recession on the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said this on Monday in Abuja, while declaring open the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit with the theme: “Building Partnerships for Resilience’’ Buhari who was represented by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, said the decline in the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) came after 12 successive quarters of positive growth. He also added that the lockdowns, disruption in global supply chains, business failures and rising unemployment caused the recent recession.
“We can all recall that during the lockdown, farming did not take place, businesses were closed; schools were closed as were hotels and restaurants. Also, airlines stopped flying, while inter-state commerce was disrupted.
Buhari who disclosed his adminstration’s effort to mitigate such impact led to the introduction of the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), further revealed that all the programmes in the ESP are reliant on the private sector playing a key role in creating and conserving jobs and the production and delivery of services in agriculture, housing, solar power and digital technologies.
The economy only began to recover when these activities resumed and if we are able to sustain the nearly three percentage point increase from the second quarter decline of minus 6.1 per cent, the performance in the fourth quarter could take us into positive territory,” he said.