The Vice-Chancellor of Samuel Adegboyega University, Edo State, Ben Aigbokhan, has expressed optimism that Nigeria will be out of the economic recession in the second quarter of the year.
Mr. Aigbokhan told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, on Wednesday in Abuja that the government had been working to address root cause of the economic crisis.
The don said the main cause of the recession was the drop in oil price, which affected the country’s foreign reserve.
“If we want to be honest with ourselves, what affected the economy was the drop in oil price; when we didn’t have foreign reserve to back the Naira, it collapsed.
“We don’t have foreign reserve to import things to make prices rise.
“The price of oil is picking up at the international market and the country’s oil production is also picking up.
“The production is beginning to pick up because pipeline vandalism in Niger Delta has been addressed,” he said.
Mr. Aigbokhan, who is also the President, Nigerian Economic Society, said with the development, government would be able to do what it could not in 2016 in terms of development.
He said the government may not be able to do much in this quarter, saying, “certainly in the next quarter we should be coming out of recession’’.
“Oil price is picking up and oil production is picking up, vandalism is reducing.
“So, if we now have more output and with the new price rise, we will have more foreign exchange that will enable the government to address some of the economic problems,” he said.
According to him, in any economic course, there is a theory of economy circle.
He said that recession was one of the faces in economy circle.
“Recession does not last indefinitely and with a serious government, recession will not last more than a year.
“A government that is responsive to the yearnings of the electorate will do everything possible to address it because they know if they don’t do something, they will be voted out.
“By the time the economy has been nose diving in a recession for first and second quarter, at most by the third quarter, they should be doing something that will bring the economy out.
“We have had two quarters so far, and the public is crying out for action, so I am optimistic that the country will be out of recession soon,” he said.
He added that the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari started the year with the fulfilment of one of his campaign promises of payment of N5,000 was a good development.
The don said the payment of the stipend to most vulnerable people was a proof that the government would do everything possible to get the country out of recession.
The Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, had on Tuesday announced that Mr. Buhari had began the payment of N5,000 each to one million poor Nigerians under its Condition Cash Transfer Programme.