How Nigeria can end recession – U.S. envoy

The United States Consul-General in Nigeria, Mr. John Bray, on Thursday said that Nigeria would be able to overcome her current economic recession by attracting more Foreign Direct Investment.

Bray gave the advice in Lagos at this year’s Annual Lecture of the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Alumni Association.

The theme of his keynote address was “The Challenges and Opportunities of Managing a Recessionary Economy: The American Experience”.

He said, “As the most populous country on the continent and as the largest economy in Africa, Nigeria clearly stands to gain from increasing its attractiveness to foreign investors.

“As in the case for the U.S. economy, FDI offers much to contribute to Nigeria’s ability to grow its economy and increase its global competitiveness.

“I hope that Nigeria will use the current recession as an opportunity to adopt and implement economic reforms to address challenges that existed before the current recession.”

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Bray said that the U.S. would continue to be the number one destination for foreign direct investment because of foreign investors’ confidence of fair treatment, profit repatriation and ruleof law.

According to him, the United States remains committed to helping Nigeria realise her economic potential.

The Patron of the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Alumni Association, Chief Olabintan Famutimi, noted that recession was a universal phenomenon. He said that Nigeria’s current economic recession was self-inflicted.

Famutimi said that Nigeria had over these years depended solely on revenue from crude oil, whose price was being determined by fluctuating international market forces.

The Association’s Patron also noted that when crude oil was booming, Nigerian governments paid lip-service to economic diversification, as well as neglected other sectors of the economy.

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He said, “Recession is a universal phenomenon and almost all countries have had times weathering the storms of it, including the countries that are regarded as the most prosperous today.

“The United States, for instance, in her 238 years of existence have spent cumulatively, about 87 years in recessions, cueing from about 47 recessions recorded.

“But importantly, the United States has on various occasions come out better, stronger and more defined.

“We must also state that Nigeria is a very peculiar nation, whose recession can be described as ‘self-inflicted’, because we walked right into it through careless leadership.”