Buhari blames COVID-19 for Nigeria’s economic recession

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President Buhari has blamed Nigeria’s current economic woes on the severity of the global economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said this on Monday in Abuja, while declaring open the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit with the theme: “Building Partnerships for Resilience’’.

The summit was organised jointly by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

President Buhari, who was represented by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, said that the decline in the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) came after 12 successive quarters of positive growth.

He said the downturn caused by the pandemic included lockdowns, disruption in global supply chains, business failures and rising unemployment.

“We can all recall that during the lockdown, farming did not take place, businesses were closed; schools were closed as were hotels and restaurants.

“Also, airlines stopped flying, while inter-state commerce was disrupted.

“The economy only began to recover when these activities resumed and if we are able to sustain the nearly three percentage point increase from the second quarter decline of minus 6.1 per cent, the performance in the fourth quarter could take us into positive territory,’’ he said.

Mr Buhari said that it was to mitigate such impact that the federal government introduced the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP).

Recall that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) report, released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has contracted by 3.62% in the third quarter of 2020, officially indicating that Nigeria has fallen into recession as the oil sector dipped by 13.89% (year-on-year) in real term.

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