Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, Abdulaziz Yari has alerted incoming governors to be prepared for another cycle of recession.
Speaking at the opening the ceremony of an induction programme for newly-elected and returning governors in Abuja, Yari, the Governor of Zamfara State, said there is the possibility of a recession by mid-2020 till the third quarter of 2021.
In August 2016, Nigeria entered its first recession in more than two decades.
Gross Domestic Product, GDP, had contracted by 3.06 percent in the first quarter and shrunk by 0.36 percent in the second quarter.
Yari said outgoing governors are agreed that borrowing is not a good means of solving economic problems and advised the incoming governors to think beyond the box for new sources of revenue and “change the course of doing government business for the betterment of the people”.
The NGF chair told the governors and incoming ones that it will not be a smooth ride as they begin a new administration.
“On our part, we made a lot of achievements in infrastructural development and provision of social services because we enjoyed a relatively high oil price of about $100 to $114 per barrel between 2001 and the middle of 2014.
“However, by mid-2014, the price of crude oil, which is sadly the main driving force of government’s expenditure, dropped to $75 per barrel. It, therefore, became very difficult for many states to even pay the salaries of their workers.
“This scenario is a wake-up call for all of you to come amply prepared to face these kinds of challenges especially since we are expecting the possibility of another cycle of recession by mid-2020 and which may last up to third quarter of 2021.
“For most of the states, Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, is nothing to write home about. You must, therefore, look inward by boosting your revenue generation base and also utilize them effectively for execution of projects that would touch the lives of your people. You must not forget the high expectations of our people on us; now that democracy is maturing day in day out the challenges of governance and service delivery are more demanding,” said Yari.