By Moses Uwagbale
The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has called for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to move the nation’s economy away from a downward slide.
The Director-General of NECA, Mr Timothy Olawale, made the call on Monday in Lagos following the economic data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The recent report by NBS on the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) showed a decline by 6.10 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms in Q2 2020.
Olawale expressed worry that the economy was facing unusual times similar to the pre-2016 recession.
“The economic data released by the NBS is a call to urgent action; the economic contraction, leaving GDP growth rate at 6.10 per cent, is not only alarming but also worrisome.
“While it was expected that the COVID-19 pandemic would create economic shock and disrupt business activities, recent releases have shown that the level of shock and disruption was highly underestimated.
“We call for greater collaborative efforts among all stakeholders with the view of redirecting the economy on the path of positive and consistent growth to avoid the worst recession in 40 years, ” he said.
He said there was need for a re-appraisal of monetary and fiscal policies to stabilise the economy in order to reduce the social-economic consequences of a major recession.
The director-general, therefore, urged the government to take a bold step in stopping the slide by refocusing monetary and fiscal policies to support economic sectors.
He said the sectors had potentials for large scale production and employment as a means to kick-start the economy and arrest the negative growth.
“Foreign exchange should be channelled to the real and productive sectors to increase capacity utilisation and pull other sectors in the value chain along with it.
“Also, there is need for total deregulation of the downstream oil sector and a more deliberate effort at curbing wastages and leakages in government, ”Olawale said.