The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association has called for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to pull the economy away from the downward slide.
This is in response to the recently released economic data by the National Bureau of Statistics.
Speaking in Lagos to the press, the Director-General, Dr Timothy Olawale, like his counterpart at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, noted that the economic contraction leaving the Gross Domestic Product growth at -6.10 per cent was alarming.
He said, “The economic data released by the National Bureau of Statistics 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.”
While shedding light on the realities and consequences of the economic slide, the NECA boss added that “it is highly worrisome that the economy is facing unusual times, similar to pre-2016 recession.
“A period of increasing inflation, unprecedented high youth unemployment and underemployment rate, dwindling value of the Naira occasioned by limited access to foreign exchange and a negative growth rate.
“This season calls for a re-appraisal of monetary and fiscal policies to stabilize the economy in order to reduce the social-economic consequences of a major recession. ”
Proposing a way out of the downward slide, Dr. Olawale urged the government to take a bold step in stopping the slide by refocusing monetary and fiscal policies to support economic sectors that have potential for large scale production and employment as a means to kick-start the economy and arrest the negative growth.
He said 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; total deregulation of the downstream oil sector and a more deliberate effort at curbing wastages and leakages in Government.
Olawale called for greater collaborative effort among all stakeholders with the view of redirecting the economy on the path of positive and consistent growth and avoid what has been called the worst recession in 40 years.