The major headlines for Tuesday, November 22, all speak of a worsening economic situation which is feared to stir greater crisis, especially within the Niger Delta.
Below are the headlines which are in no way pleasant for the Nigerian people. We begin with This Day which bears the report: "Recession Worsens N'Delta Crisis, Despite Agric Rebound".
There seems to be no end in sight to Nigeria’s economic woes, as the third quarter real gross domestic product (GDP) growth data released monday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that the country sank deeper into recession, contracting by 2.26 per cent from -2.06 per cent in the second quarter of this year, and -0.36 per cent in the first quarter.
This represented a 0.18 per cent drop from the growth recorded in the preceding quarter and lower by 5.08 per cent relative to the corresponding quarter in 2015.
The contraction in GDP was largely driven by the militancy in the Niger Delta, which resulted in a drop in oil output during the third quarter to 1.63 million barrels per day (mbpd) and the oil sector’s contribution to GDP, notwithstanding the rebound recorded in the agriculture sector.
The Guardian bears a similar headline, "Economy risks depression as negative growth lingers".
The nation’s economy is at the risk of depression – a sustained, long-term downturn in economic activity – as the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced a third negative growth in three-quarters.
The data agency said Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for third quarter (Q3) of the year again shrank by -2.24 percent after recording -2.06 per cent in the preceding quarter ending June 30, 2016. The GDP is one of the primary indicators used to gauge the health or size of a country’s economy. It represents the total dollar value of all goods and services produced over a specific period.
The persistent decline in growth means that government’s fiscal and monetary policies are failing and its promise of returning active trade and industrial activity to the economy will not be achieved soon.
Labour and the organised private sector operator blamed persistent negative growth on a lack of clear fiscal and monetary policy direction and urged the Federal Government to resolve the challenge of access to foreign exchange by the productive sector of the economy.
The Punch bears the headline: "Manufacturers, LCCI, others groan as recession deepens".
Hopes that the Nigerian economy will rebound anytime soon were on Monday dashed as the country’s Gross Domestic Product growth rate slipped further to -2.24 per cent in the third quarter from the second quarter’s figure of -2.06 per cent.
The GDP report for the third quarter, released by the National Bureau of Statistics, explained that in real terms, the -2.24 per cent recorded in the third quarter was lower by 0.18 percentage points from the negative growth rate recorded in the second quarter.
The negative growth rate figure confirms the fears being expressed by economic experts that the government is not doing enough to address the challenges facing the country.
Vanguard, Daily Sun, Daily Trust and the New Telegraph all bear the tale of Justice Ngwuta who reportedly hid N27million in his bathroom.
DESPITE stiff opposition from the Federal Government, the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, yesterday, released Justice Sylvester Ngwuta of the Supreme Court on bail to the tune of N100 million. Ngwuta secured bail on a day he was docked on a 16-count criminal charge bordering on money laundering, age falsification and illegal possession of multiple international passports, contrary to Section 10 (1) (a) of the Immigration Act 2015.
Trial Justice James Tsoho said he released the accused jurist on bail, in view of his status as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. He said there was nothing before the court to show that Ngwuta had in any way breached the administrative bail earlier given to him by the Department of State Services, DSS. This came on a day Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen, lamented that corrupt practices were exposing the Judiciary to criticisms and asked judges to align with President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-graft war.
I’m not guilty —Ngwuta Justice
Ngwuta had shortly after he pleaded not guilty to all the charges, begged the court to grant him bail on self-recognition, pending the hearing and determination of the case against him. Addressing the court through his lead counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi, SAN, the defendant insisted that charges against him were bailable offences. Agabi, a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, predicated the bail request on sections 32, 158 and 162 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, as well as Section 35 (1) of the 1999 constitution, as amended.
Ngwuta’s bail application was supported by a 14-paragraph affidavit that was deposed to by one Enoh Abasi Eboh. “The defendant is presumed innocent until your lordship pronounces him guilty. My lord, these are grave charges and we take them seriously. In spite of the law, it is your discretion that matters and must prevail at the end of the day.
“The defendant has a title which no one can take away from him. He is more than anyone in this court, anxious to defend his name. If you grant him bail, he will attend his trial. There is no running away.
“Alternatively, I pray your lordship to grant the defendant an affordable bail. The law makes provision for bail on self-recognition. If a man of the rank and status of the defendant cannot get bail on self-recognition, it means that that portion of the law is no longer relevant”, Agabi submitted.