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Emefiele projects Nigeria to exit recession by Q1 2021

The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN, Godwin Emefiele, said on Friday the country could exit recession by the first quarter of 2021.

Emefiele, who spoke at the 55th Annual Bankers Dinner organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in Lagos, also projected a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 2.0 percent in 2021.

He said because of the impacts of COVID-19 on key economic variables such as crude oil, the fiscal and monetary authorities had taken unprecedented measures to prevent long-term damage to the growth prospects of the economy.

According to him, the impacts of the measures along with the removal of restrictions on movement and resumption of international travel had led to the improvement in key indicators of the economy.

Emefiele said: “A sectoral assessment of economic activities in the third quarter indicates that the economy witnessed positive growth in key sectors such as Information and Communications Technology (ICT), agriculture, health, construction, finance, and insurance, and public administration.

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“With sustained implementation of our intervention measures, we do expect that the Nigerian economy would emerge from the recession by the first quarter of 2021, due to high-frequency data that indicates continued improvements in the non-oil sector of our economy.

“We also expect that growth in 2021 would attain 2.0 percent.”

The CBN governor explained that the agricultural sector had continued to record positive growth supported by productivity gains in the sector, interventions by the government, and improved demand for local produce.

He stressed that the Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index stood at 50.2 points this month, indicating an expansion in manufacturing activities after six months of contraction.

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