Finance minister projects economic recession for Nigeria in 2020/ Zainab Ahmed

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has projected Nigeria’s economy would go into recession in 2020.

The minister stated this during a chat with journalists after the National Economic Council meeting on Thursday.

She, however, explained that country can manage the effect of the recession by putting economic stimulus plans in place.

Her words: “Net oil and gas revenue and influx to the federation account in the first quarter of 2020 amounted to N940.91billion.

“This represented a shortfall of N125.52 billion or 31 percent of the prorated amount that is supposed to have been realised by the end of that first quarter. 40 percent of the population in Nigeria, today, is classified as poor; the crisis will only multiply this misery.

“The economic growth in Nigeria, that is the GDP, could in the worst-case scenario, contract by as much as minus -8.94 per cent in 2020.

“In the best case, which is the case we are working on, it could be a contraction of minus -4.4 percent, if there is no fiscal stimulus But with the fiscal stimulus plan that we are working on, this contraction can be mitigated and we might end up with a negative –0.59 percent.”

The minister also revealed that the World Bank has a proposal of $1.5 billion to states as part of the economic stimulus to cushion the impact of the pandemic.

“The World Bank maintains that the impact of the COVID-19 on Nigeria will lead to severe amplified human and economic cost, which will move the country into a recession," she said.

“The World Bank planned a proposed package for immediate fiscal relief for the FG.

“This will also involve policy-based policy budget support for the Federal Government, focusing on measures to maintain macro-financial stability and create fiscal space for proposed stimulus.

“The World Bank package has also got a proposal of $1.5 billion for the states and this package will be dedicated to the states and it will be a programme for results which the states are already used to implementing.”