The Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Malam Garba Shehu, has said that Nigeria’s recession is being overhyped.
Mr. Shehu said this Tuesday on Channels TV when asked about what the president is doing to take away the sufferings of many Nigerians.
Asked to respond to calls by Nigerians for the president to sack his economic team over the current crisis, Mr. Shehu said: “I think that in my view the recession is being overhyped because recession is in the normal cycle of economists. It is not the firs time we are going through this. I think that the media has a responsibility to the nation to not create panic over this situation.”
Asked if President Buhari should rather be having series of meetings over the economy instead of attending APC governorship rally in Edo State, Mr. Shehu said he is doing both.
Mr Shehu added: “The media should drive the country to the path of normalcy. When we behave as if recession is never a feature of other economies in the world, then every begins to panic and people lose their heads over this. The fact that we have recession does not mean that there must not be normal lives.”
“It’s not like we should freeze everything until the country comes out of recession. Life must go on.”
“If you sack the economic team, does it bring more dollars to the central bank for sale? Diversification of the economy has to be done. This economy has been severely contacted on account of the shortage of the US dollar and structurally we have failled ourselves as a people and as a country over the years because we ought to have diversified the economy.”
“The sabotage of the oil industry, the bombings in the Niger Delta has cut our output to nearly half. That obviously would have negative impact on the economy. So the government is talking to the Niger Deltans.”
Asked to predict how soon the country is expected to start seeing relief, Mr. Shehu said: “If you study the data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) the last two months have shown that we are climbing out of recession. The indication is that hopefully by the end of this year, we should be out.”