The leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, has urged Nigerians to do whatever it takes to resist recession at this point rather than focusing on inflation.
Inflation in April rose by the fastest pace in six years last month while Nigeria’s economy contracted by 0.36 percent in the first quarter, showing that the country was heading for recession, a situation confirmed by the central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele.
However, in a Democracy Day message on Sunday, the former Lagos State Governor said that “given the rate of joblessness and poverty, it is more fitting to fight recession at this point than to focus on inflation”.
“The people gave conservative elitist government 16 years to drive the nation forward. It drove the nation indeed: right into the ditch we find ourselves,” he stated.
“We can endure a bit more inflation if it means more jobs and greater aggregate demand that can develop the velocity needed to free the economy of recession’s gravitational pull. We must resist recession; it is harder to shake off once it takes grip of an economy.
“Moreover, if we are bold enough not to allow fear to paralyse us, we can start projects that bring people into the work force, we can modernise our infrastructure which will reduce the cost of living and doing business.
“We can institute policies that create new industries and businesses as well as improve old ones. These measures will form the foundation of a diversified economy that will become more resistant to inflation because it is less reliant on imports,” he said.
“We have entered a period of stagflation where recession or shrinkage of the economy is accompanied by higher prices.
“Unfortunately, if we try to fight both at the same time, we fight neither effectively,” Tinubu warned.