By Prof R. A. Ipinyomi, University of Ilorin, Nigeria.
I like our current Minister of Finance (Mrs. Kemi Adeosun), not only because she speaks British English and looking younger than the previous one that I like also (Dr. Okonjo-Iweala) but she has been bold to announce a recession. If the Honourable Minister didn’t announce anything then there wouldn’t be any penalty or following a process of getting out of it.. I am however not comfortable that she can also singly announce that we are out of recession. No madam.
The argument is as follows. Officially recession calls are the responsibility of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and not that of a Minister. The Nigeria NBS should have been saddled with the responsibility of the National Gross Domestic Product ( NGDP), or simply GDP. If a current GDP were found significantly greater than the previous then NBS may announce that “Technically Recession is Over”.
For the general public and the Nigeria market forces we measure our “out of recession” using major indicators, each of which must have recorded a significant improvement. Note my word “significant” because if a GDP had been 10 last quarter and it is now 10.5 currently these figures may not be significantly different from each other; only a sign of an upward trend. Four of the major indicators for an environment like Nigeria are:-
3. Retail Sales
4. Personal Income
In all these four indicators the NBS is yet to publish their latest figures. In Nigeria we are also going to take publications on same from private individuals who are apolitical and just business minded, organizations that are not swayed by sentimentalities; eg CBN, Lagos Camber of Commerce etc. Thirdly here also freelance journalists on the Internet called “People in the Court odd Public Opinion”; and the people may believe their unofficial publications over government publications.
This is one reason I said that I prefer this set of economic managers; tell the truth and risk the consequences. The previous government might have tinkered with figures and refused to declare a recession since about 2013, or much earlier.