By Gbenga Abulude (Politics and General Desk)
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, on Monday said, Nigeria will soon exit the current economic recession with the interventions consciously introduced by the federal government.
Ahmed said the country would overcome the recession in the 4th quarter of this year or by the first quarter of 2021.
She spoke at the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning.
The New Diplomat on Saturday reported that Nigeria officially slipped into a recession after the country’s GDP contracted for the second consecutive quarter, just three years after emerging from the economic rubbles of 2017.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the GDP dropped by 3.62 per cent in Q3 and 6.10 per cent in Q2.
Ahmed said it was expected as the COVID-19-induced recession followed the pattern across the world where many countries also entered economic recessions.
She noted that other countries that went into recession like the United Kingdom, the United States and Spain recorded much deeper contraction than that of Nigeria.
“Let me remind us that before the impact of COVID-19, the Nigerian economy was experiencing sustained growth, which had been improving quarter by quarter until the second quarter of 2020, when the impact of the COVID-19 was felt.
“Nigeria is not alone in this, but I will say that Nigeria has outperformed all of these economies in terms of the record of a negative growth,” she said.
She said that South Africa, which recorded a decline of -50 per cent compared to Nigeria’s -6.1 per cent in Q2, will also record a deeper negative growth in Q3.
Ahmed said, “While the economy has entered into recession in the third quarter, the trend of the growth suggests that this will be a short-lived recession, and indeed by the fourth or, at worst, the first quarter of 2021, the country will exit recession.
“Our expectation of a quick exit, which will be historically fast, is anchored on the several complementary fiscal, real sector and monetary interventions that have been proactively introduced by government to forestall a far worse decline of the economy and alleviate the negative consequences of the pandemic.”
The economic recession in Nigeria is the worst in over three decades when the GDP shrank by 10.8 percent in 1987.
The last time the nation witnessed recession was in 2016 before exiting it a year after.