Godwin Emefiele, the recently confirmed second term Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has for the first time disclosed how the country emerged from recession in 2017 after five consecutive quarters of negative growth beginning in the first quarter of 2016.
According to the Apex bank boss, a coordinated approach by the fiscal and monetary authorities lead to a rebound in the nation’s economy during the second quarter of 2017.
The recovery he said, was driven largely by improved non- oil activities especially the agriculture sector, which he said expanded consistently by about 3.5 -4.3 percent reflecting government’s efforts at diversifying the economy.
Emefiele made the disclosure on Friday while delivering a special convocation lecture of the University of Nigeria (UNN), Nsukka where he was also conferred with honorary doctorate degree of the institution.
He said, “After 5 consecutive quarters of negative growth beginning in the 1st quarter of 2016, a coordinated approach by the fiscal and monetary authorities supported a rebound in the nation’s economy during the second quarter of 2017.
“This was nonetheless, reinforced by the pickup in the oil sector as oil prices rallied in 2017. The gradual reorientation of the economic structure towards the agriculture sector reflects the diversification drive of the government which was supported by the development finance initiatives of the CBN.
“The recovery has been sustained for seven consecutive quarters. The pace of quarterly GDP growth has improved from .5 percent in the second quarter of 2017 to 2.38 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018,” he stressed.
Emefiele stated that the challenges ahead is to ensure that the pace of GDP growth remains well ahead of annual population growth at 3 percent and that proactive fiscal actions, especially, infrastructure investment were required to sustain economic growth.
He also noted that universities have a significant role to play alongside the private and public sector in supporting research and development of solutions that can sustain the country’s economic growth.