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Nigeria will exit recession soon – Finance minister

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The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, expressed optimism on Monday that Nigeria would exit recession soon, raising hopes that Africa’s biggest economy would reverse the contraction it reported in the last two quarters and come back to the path of growth.

Ahmed told participants at the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit the country would exit the slowdown in the current quarter or latest by the first quarter of next year.

Nigeria fell into its second recession in four years after posting negative growths of 6.1 percent and 3.6 percent in the second and third quarters respectively, the National Bureau of Statistics announced on Saturday.

The minister said: “Let me remind us that before the impact of COVID-19, the Nigerian economy was experiencing sustained growth, which had been improving quarter by quarter until the second quarter of 2020, when the impact of the COVID-19 was felt.”

Read also: Nigeria plunges into second recession in four years

She added that the recession, triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak, was a reflection of the trend across many economies in the world.

Ahmed mentioned the United Kingdom and the United States among nations whose recessions were worse than Nigeria.

“Nigeria is not alone in this, but I will say that Nigeria has outperformed all of these economies in terms of the record of a negative growth.”

“Our expectation of a quick exit, which will be historically fast, is anchored on the several complementary fiscal, real sector, and monetary interventions that have been proactively introduced by the government to forestall a far worse decline of the economy and alleviate the negative consequences of the pandemic,” she concluded.

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