Economic recession is certain, says Finance Minister

Zainab Ahmed

Zainab Ahmed

 

Nigeria’s economy will go into a recession at an average of -4.4 per cent, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, has said.

Ahmed stated this on Thursday while speaking with journalists after a virtual National Economic Council (NEC) meeting.

“The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has made an assessment. So, it is the NBS assessment that Nigeria will go into a recession measuring at an average of -4.4%. But with the work that the Economic Accessibility Committee is doing bringing stimulus packages, we believe that we can reduce the impact of that recession.

“And if we applied all that have been proposed and we are able to implement it, we may end up with a recession that is -0.4 per cent. In any case, we will go into recession but what we are trying to do is to make sure that it is shallow so that we will quickly come out of it come 2021,” Ahmed said.

On the gradual easing of lockdown in the country, she said, “This is a very difficult time because the challenges we have now are double. There is health challenge, there is an economic challenge. Even as we are addressing the current health challenge, we still have to look at how we can support the economy so that the economy does not fall into a depression.

“We have to feed the people and you can only feed the people if people go out and farm. We are a very large population, we don’t want to take the risk and we don’t have enough fund to cushion the effect.”