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Onovo queries if it’s right to call 0.55 rise in GDP, a growth in economy?

Petroleum engineer, public affairs analysts and former presidential candidate of National Conscience Party (NCP) during the 2015 general elections, Chief Martins Onovo has taken a swipe on the claims by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that Nigeria exited recession vide the infinitesimal 0.55 climb in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in second quarter.

In an interview on Monday in Lagos, he averred that “A recession is when you have a decline in your GDP for two quarters, if that decline continues, it becomes a depression. Now, if it is complicated by high unemployment and high inflation then that is stagnation”.

To him, “Stagnation means a period when a country’s economy was not growing and it was complicated by high unemployment and high inflation”.

“So, it is not correct to say that Nigeria exited a recession because Nigeria was not just in a simple recession, Nigeria was in stagnation. “Secondly, the growth they reported is 0.55per cent; can we call 0.55 per cent a growth?

“Is it beyond the zero margin in the GDP estimates, the right word to use for that 0.55 per cent increase in GDP is that the economy is stagnant, which justifies the stagnation.

“NBS has misrepresented the fact by saying that the country exited a recession.

“If the country exits recession and there is growth, that growth will show both in GDP growth, in increase in employment and then, inflation will reduce.’’

In his further submission, Onovo said that is why the people are complaining that they cannot see the effect because the level of education is low and a lot of people do not even understand the concept.

It would be recalled that since the release of the data by the Chief Executive Officer of the NBS, Dr Yemi Kale, discordant voices have trailed the excitement, thus forcing the NBS boss to first of all make it clear that the data was not doctored and that “the effect of Nigeria coming out of recession would not be immediately felt by the people”.

“Going out of recession is the first step, which is very important then; the country can talk of economic recovery, which is going back to where Nigeria was before the recession”.

According to him, here were different stages Nigeria must go through before the masses would feel the effects of going out of recession.