THE Federal Government on Thursday assessed the nation’s economy and returned a verdict that 2016 has so far been a difficult year for Nigeria.
It said things are expected to start picking up for the nation by next year.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, said these while answering questions from State House correspondents at the end of a meeting of the National Economic Council presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
Udoma was joined at the briefing by the Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku; and his Niger State counterpart, Abubakar Bello.
The minister said Nigeria could only be said to be in recession if it records two quarters of negative growth.
He said since the country had experienced negative growth in the first quarter, the country will be said to be in technical recession if the second quarter which is still being expected is also negative.
He said, “Recession is basically when you have two quarters of negative growth. We had a first quarter of negative growth and we are still waiting to get all the figures for the second quarter which has just ended in June.
“The National Bureau of Statistics will be giving us all the figures but if as we suspect, the second quarter is also negative, then of course technically you could say that we are in recession if those figures turned out to be so.
“But even if we are not, the situation in the economy right now is one that of course we are addressing.”
Udoma said while the Federal Government expected some of the factors that have been impacting negatively on the economy, some others were unexpected.