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Nigeria will emerge from recession by Q4 2020, or at worst Q1 2021~Finmin

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By Samuel Bankole

Nigeria would emerge from the current economic recession in the fourth quarter of this year or by the first quarter of 2021, according to the minister of finance and budget Zainab Ahmed on Monday in Abuja.

Ahmed, who spoke at the ongoing 26th Nigerian Economic Summit organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) in collaboration with the ministry of finance and budget said the COVID-19-induced recession followed the pattern across the world where many countries had entered an economic recession.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced on Saturday that Nigeria’s economy shrunk in the third quarter of 2020 by 3.62 percent against 6.10 percent contraction in the second quarter of the year.

With two consecutive quarter of contraction, its means Nigeria’s economony has slipped into its second recession in five years under President Mohammadu Buhari administration.

“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,” she said.

Ahmed said other countries also in recession, including the United Kingdom and the United States, recorded much deeper contraction than that of Nigeria.

“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,” Ahmed said.

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The finance minister said South Africa, which recorded a decline of -50 percent compared to Nigeria’s -6.1 per cent in the first quarter will also record a deeper negative growth in the third quarter.

“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.”

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