Recession not a crime, a wakeup call to rearrange expenditure, says Ambode
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has described recession as a period that calls for government at all level to rearrange its expenditure and give more priority to capital expenditure and not a crime.
Governor Ambode, who spoke at the opening ceremony of the Biennial Convention of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) held in Ikeja, Lagos with the theme, “A Nation in Recession: Whither the Nigerian Media?” cited examples of the steps the former U.S President, Barak Obama took few years ago to save the ailing American economy, saying that Nigeria must be ready to toll such line.
He said, “Recession is not a crime, it’s just a notice to say that you rearrange the way you do your public expenditure. That’s what President Obama did. Yes, there was a burst in 2008 and 2009 but he was very bold enough to put public money into General Motors and even the airlines and that is what is missing in this country.
“You need to increase the capital expenditure to help companies, to help other people and even help the government to get the system out of recession. That’s the only template that works.”
Governor Ambode said the State stood in the gap for Nigeria during the period of the economic recession, assuring that his administration would continue to show leadership, demonstrate capacity and be relentless in its pursuit of excellence despite the daunting challenges.
He said the current recessionary climate not only taught some hard lessons but presented a new challenge as well as an opportunity to think outside the box to change Nigeria’s story from “business as usual” to “business unusual”.
He said with the recession, the rate of unemployment soared as a result of the economic outlook, lay-offs and shut-down of businesses stating that the national unemployment rate rose to 13.9 percent in 2016 from 10.4 percent in 2015; while the unemployment rate in Lagos State increased from 18 percent in 2015 to 27 percent in 2016.
But the Governor said that his administration took definite steps to arrest the trend, recalling that on assumption of office, he created new ministries while some while realigned in a bid to fashion out ways of creating job opportunities for residents.
Besides, Governor Ambode said what his administration did in the last two years was to commit huge resources to capital projects, premised on the fact that the nation had no choice but to spend its way out of recession and create platforms that will stimulate job creation and decidedly reflate the economy.