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Nigeria's recession puts poverty in spotlight

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 - 01:44

Nigerians say they are 'fed up' with the current economic situation, despite the government's efforts to pull Africa's biggest economy out of recession. Ciara Lee reports.

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Nigerian entrepreneur Harrison Akadidi books celebrities for high profile events. It's an expensive business, charging up to 3000 US dollars for local personalities and up to 100,000 for international ones. But the company has gone from 20 bookings per month to seven Nigeria is battling a currency crisis brought on by low oil prices, which has tipped its economy into recession. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NIGERIAN ENTREPRENEUR, HARRISON AKADIDI, SAYING: "A lot of people can't actually afford you know to book these celebrities like they used to in 2015 backwards." And the frustration is widespread. Hundreds recently marched through Lagos over a lack of jobs and a soaring cost of living. Annual inflation is at 17 percent and the UN estimates that 70 percent of the population live on a dollar a day. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PROTESTER, KOLAWOLE BAMIDELE, SAYING: "I am an ordinary Nigerian, I am an oppressed Nigerian, I am a frustrated Nigerian because our system is not working. At some point we must ask ourselves that what has caused us to be in this present state? Nigeria's president has been on sick leave in Britain since May. And the country's vice president is standing in. He signed the 2017 budget into law last week, with Abuja planning record spending to bring Nigeria out of recession. But economists are sceptical. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DEVELOPMENT ECONOMIST, ODILIM ENWEGBARA, SAYING: "Because Nigeria is in recession. It needed an activist president that is day by day working, looking at monetary policy, looking at fiscal policy." Nigeria unveiled a sweeping recovery plan in March, including measures to reduce its dependence on oil and to relax foreign exchange restrictions. Many feel the country's big oil revenues have enriched only the country's elite. And left the poor struggling to get by.

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Nigeria's recession puts poverty in spotlight

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 - 01:44