By Akin Akinremi
Nigeria’s economy is truly in recession, if the figures rolled out on Wednesday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) are anything to go by and this is authoritative.
Despite the pronouncement of the CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele and that of the Minister of Finance Kemi Adeosun early in the year that the country was technically in recession, the figures released by NBS have shown clearly that Nigeria is in recession.
The official figures which emerged on Wednesday from the NBS indicated that Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 17.1 percent in July up from 16.5 percent in June 2016 after a sixth successive months of relatively strong increases in Consumer Price Index. (CPS).
This month’s inflation figure came lower than consumers estimate of 17.3 percent. Also,month on month inflation rose at a slower space of 1.3 percent in July compared with the 1.7 percent recorded in June.
Food inflation jumped to 15.8 percent from 15.3 percent in the previous month on month basis, food prices rose at a slower pace, rising 1.2 percent against the 1.4 percent recorded in June.
Imported inflation jumped to 2.05 percent from 2.0 percent as the pressure from the weakling exchange rate continued to weigh on prices.
Core inflation increased to 16.9 percent against 16.2 percent on a month on month basis.
However, the main stay of the economy, which is crude oil sale, which account for 70 per cent of government income, has been declining steadily.
Crude oil price has fallen from highs of about $112 a barrel in 2014 to below $50 at the moment.
In addition to the problem in the oil industry, there is a substantial decline in the nation’s currency and this has also hurt the economy.
The Naira was only allowed to float freely in June to help kick-start the economy, but critics argued it should have been done much earlier. And only on Tuesday, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) approved 11 more International Money Transfer Operators in addition to the existing three.