The presidency has reacted to the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) which revealed that the country recorded a negative economic growth in the second quarter of 2020.
Nigeria’s economy contracted by -6.10 per cent in the second quarter of 2020 (April to June), a development caused mainly by some of the measures taken to curb the spread of Coronavirus in the country.
However in a statement released by President Buhari’s spokesperson Femi Adesina, the Presidency averred that even with the negative growth Nigeria’s economy outperformed projections by most domestic and international analysts.
He also stated that the Fiscal and Monetary Policy initiatives being deployed by government in a phased process, will be a robust response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The statement read;
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) published on Monday, August 24, 2020, the 2nd Quarter (Q2) 2020 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimates, which measures economic growth.
Nigeria’s (GDP) declined by –6.10% (year-on-year) in real terms in the second quarter of 2020, ending the 3-year trend of low but consistently improving positive real growth rates recorded since the 2016/17 recession. Consequently, for the first half of 2020, real GDP declined by –2.18% year-on-year, compared with 2.11% recorded in the first half of 2019.
The overall decline of -6.1% (for Q2 2020) and -2.18 per cent (for H1 2020) was better than the projected forecast of -7.24% as estimated by the National Bureau of Statistics. The figure was also relatively far better than many other countries recorded during the same quarter.
Furthermore, despite the observed contraction in economic activity during the quarter, it outperformed projections by most domestic and international analysts. It also appears muted compared to the outcomes in several other countries, including large economies such as the US (-33%), UK (-20%), France (-14%), Germany (-10%), Italy (-12.4%), Canada (-12.0%), Israel (-29%), Japan (-8%), South Africa (projection -20% to -50%), with the notable exception of only China (+3%).
The government’s anticipation of the impending economic slowdown and the various initiatives introduced as early responses to cushion the economic and social effects of the pandemic, through the Economic Sustainability Programme (ESP), contributed immensely to dampening the severity of the pandemic on growth.
On the fiscal side, a robust financing mechanism was designed to raise revenue to support humanitarian assistance, in addition to special intervention funds for the health sector.
Adjustments to the national budget as well as emergency financing from concessional lending windows of development finance institutions were critical in supporting governments’ capacity to meet its obligations.
On the monetary side, moratorium on loans, credit support to households and industries, regulatory forbearance and targeted lending and guarantee programs through NIRSAL were some of the measures implemented in response to the pandemic during the second quarter.
It is equally worth noting that since the start of the third quarter, the phased approach to easing the restrictions being implemented centrally and across States have resulted in a gradual return of economic activity, including the possibility of international travel.
More importantly, the anticipated health impacts of the pandemic have been managed without overwhelming the health infrastructure, which would have further compromised the ability to re-open the country to travel, commerce and international trade. Indeed, this has provided greater confidence and ability for authorities to initiate the conduct of nationwide terminal examinations and resumption of the next academic year.
Finally, it is anticipated that while the third and fourth quarters will reflect continued effects of the slowdown, the Fiscal and Monetary Policy initiatives being deployed by government in a phased process will be a robust response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Furthermore, as the country begins the gradual loosening up of restrictions, and levels of commercial activity increase by people returning to their various livelihoods and payrolls expand, it still remains imperative that all the necessary public health safeguards are adhered to so the country avoids an emergence of a second wave.
Update: Abductors of catholic priest demand ‘N100m ransom’
The Kidnappers of Reverend father Matthew Dajo of the St Anthony Catholic Church in Yangoji village, Kwali Area Council in Abuja suburb, are reportedly demanding for N100 million ransom before the victim will be set free.
The Catholic priest was abducted on Sunday, November 22 around 9:47:pm. It was gathered that the gunmen stormed the catholic priest’s residence with sophisticated weapons and then whisked him away.
A member of his church told Daily Trust that contact was established with the kidnappers on Saturday, and they have demanded N100 million as ransom.
“And you know since he was abducted, his abductors did not call until on Saturday and they are demanding for N100 million, but I don’t know at what figure has the man who is negotiating with them has been able to arrive at,” he said.
The insider said members of the church are facing a major problem on how to raise the large sum as it’s against the rules of the church to pay for ransom. He also stated the church is solely depending on the family members and relatives of the victim to source for ransom.
“And the other thing we are more worried about is that when a reverend father is abducted, it is against the rules of the church to pay for ransom, except the family members, friends or relatives of the victim can take such responsibility,” he said.
Zahra Buhari reacts to the murder of rice farmers in Zabarmari
Zahra Buhari-Indimi has reacted to the murder of 110 rice farmers in Zabarmari village in Borno state.
The daughter of the president of Nigeria shared a newspaper shot of the Zabarmari massacre and wrote: “My heart bleeds”.
Her reaction comes two days after Boko Haram terrorists attacked rice farmers in their farms and slaughtered them. The death toll was initially at 43 but has now been updated to 110.
Disappointed customer shows dress she ordered and what her tailor made
A customer who asked a tailor to make her a dress was left disappointed at what was delivered.
The woman shared a photo of the dress she ordered and what was delivered.
She explained that a friend introduced her to the tailor who then sent her 5 dresses to choose from. She chose one and the tailor charged her 70,000 Naira.
She haggled down to 65,000 Naira and made payment for the dress.
However, the dress was not ready on time for her birthday. When it finally came, it was nothing like what she ordered.
The Twitter user was told that she probably ordered an inferior material but she explained that the tailor handled everything, including sourcing the material for the dress.
She went on to share videos to show how the finishing was.
She added that she asked the tailor to keep 25,000 Naira and make a refund of 40,000 and she’ll return the dress, but the tailor refused.
Below are tweets shared by the disappointed customer alongside videos of the dress delivered.