Home News Presidency Says Nigeria’s Economy is Performing Better Than UK, US Economies
News - News around Africa - August 27, 2020

Presidency Says Nigeria’s Economy is Performing Better Than UK, US Economies

The Nigerian Government has said that the second quarter 2020 Gross Domestic Product report released by the National Bureau of Statistics’ earlier this week is not as bad as it looks.

The report reflected seeming gloomy days ahead for the Nigerian economy. It shows the nation’s GDP declined by 6.10 per cent (year-on-year) in the period under review which ended the three-year run of consistent positive real growth rates since the 2016/17 recession.

In the first quarter of 2020, Nigeria’s GDP declined by 2.18 per cent year-on-year, compared with 2.11 per cent recorded in the first half of 2019.

Stakeholders had said the country might be unable to service its rising debts and fund budgets as the economy giving the latest economy shrink.

The Presidency, however, played down the NBS report, saying the overall decline of 6.1 per cent (for Q2 2020) and – 2.18 per cent (for H1 2020) was better than the projected forecast of -7.24 per cent as estimated by the NBS and other local and international analysts.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina said this in a statement titled “Our response to Quarter 2, 2020 NBS figures, by Presidency”.

He said the contraction in economic activity in Nigeria during the quarter is better compared to the outcomes in other countries, including the ones with large economies like the US, UK, France, Canada among others.

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The US GDP was put at -33 per cent, UK -20 per cent, France – 14 per cent, Canada -12 per cent, Israel -29 per cent, Japan -8 per cent while South Africa projected -20 to -50 per cent. Only China is exempted with three per cent.

Adesina said, “The government’s anticipation of the impending economic slowdown and the various initiatives introduced as early responses to cushion the economic and social effects of the pandemic, through the Economic Sustainability Programme contributed immensely to dampening the severity of the pandemic on growth.

“On the fiscal side, a robust financing mechanism was designed to raise revenue to support humanitarian assistance in addition to special intervention funds for the health sector.

“Adjustments to the national budget as well as emergency financing from concessional lending windows of development finance institutions were critical in supporting governments’ capacity to meet its obligations.

“On the monetary side, moratorium on loans, credit support to households and industries, regulatory forbearance and targeted lending and guarantee programmes through NIRSAL were some of the measures implemented in response to the pandemic during the second quarter.

“It is equally worth noting that since the start of the third quarter, the phased approach to easing the restrictions being implemented centrally and across states have resulted in a gradual return of economic activity, including the possibility of international travel.”

The Presidential spokesman added the Buhari-led government successfully managed the anticipated health impact of the coronavirus pandemic as it did not overwhelm the health infrastructure. He said this would have further undermined the reopening of the country to travel, commerce and international trade.

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