The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has projected that Nigeria will turn in a negative Gross Domestic Product in the second quarter of this year considering the scale of the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the economy.
Godwin Emefiele, the CBN boss, gave the dim outlook in Abuja on Thursday while fielding questions from reporters, citing the considerable shutdown of the economy in April and May, and its partial shutdown in June as conditions that could trigger the regression.
Top advanced countries including the United States and China as well as economic powerhouses in Europe are taking a bashing from the implacable virus with a few of them already in recession and Mr Emefiele is almost fully convinced that Nigeria will not be spared.
“Luckily and pleasantly surprised, Nigeria first-quarter growth in 2020 came down from 2.5 per cent from fourth-quarter 2019 to 1.87 per cent.
“Understandably by the virtue of the fact, we began to really lockdown our economy in the month of March because we were already seeing some interesting growth trajectory in the month of January and February following the recovery that we have made in 2019.
“So, we saw what I could call a somehow pleasant GDP of 1.87 per cent,” he said, hinting at Nigeria’s surprise avoidance of a recession between January and March.
Emefiele observed that early recovery from the economic shocks of the coronavirus would be advantageous to the nation even though singleness of purpose across the purpose is required.
“As we begin to see the easing of the lockdown, business begins to come back alive again, we all need to move very aggressively and fast to see that corporate activities are pushed to an extent where if we are lucky, third-quarter growth may come out positive.
“If this is achieved, Nigeria will return to a situation where we can say we are not into recession,” he said.