On Friday, February 23, 2018, the former Nigerian Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, said it was doubtful whether Nigeria has indeed exited recession.
Abubakar stated this during his keynote address while giving the Silverbird’s 2017 man of the year award out to its recipient in Lagos.
He said, “Last year we celebrated the fact that we exited our first recession in 25 years. To me, that celebration was premature. After contracting for five consecutive quarters, Nigeria came out of recession in the second quarter of 2017 with a GDP growth rate of 0.55%. In the third quarter, we fared better with 1.40%.”
“While this looks somewhat like we exited the recession, the reality is that when you factor in our population growth rate of 2.3%, which is one of the highest in the world, have we really exited a recession? Technically, yes, but in reality, it is doubtful.”
The former vice president remarked that Nigeria is going through a lot of challenges in the area of unity, economy, and security.
“For years, our population has been growing faster than our Gross Domestic Product, bringing us to a point where we have an ever-increasing population competing for resources that are not keeping pace with population growth.”
“It may sound simplistic, but if Nigeria can assemble a leadership focused on getting us out of this Malthusian Trap by gradually reversing the trend where population growth exceeds GDP growth, many of these challenges we are currently facing will slowly but surely fade away.”
He also said that Nigeria has just overtaken India as the world’s capital of extreme poverty according to the World Poverty Clock. He argued that there are more extremely poor people in Nigeria than there are in India, a country that has six times Nigeria’s population.