The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, has warned that the Nigerian economy may slide into recession if the coronavirus pandemic continues for the next six months.
She stated this during her appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today where she spoke on steps being taken by the government cushion the impact of the pandemic on the nation’s economy.
She said, “We are hopeful that this pandemic will be limited in time. If it is an average of three months, we should be able to close the year with positive growth.
“But if it goes longer than that – six months, one year – we will go into recession.”
This came as the International Monetary Fund said the global economy has entered recession over the ravaging impact of the COVID-19 on different countries.
The Managing Director, IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, who said this while making an opening remark during a conference call of the International Monetary Fund and Financial Committee, declared that no fewer than 80 countries had approached the Fund for help.
She said, “We have reassessed the prospect for growth for 2020 and 2021. It is now clear that we have entered a recession – as bad as or worse than in 2009.
“We do project recovery in 2021 – in fact, there may be a sizeable rebound, but only if we succeed with containing the virus – everywhere – and prevent liquidity problems from becoming a solvency issue.
“A key concern about a long-lasting impact of the sudden stop of the world economy is the risk of a wave of bankruptcies and layoffs that not only can undermine the recovery but can erode the fabric of our societies.”
She added, “We have seen an extraordinary spike in requests for the IMF emergency financing – some 80 countries have placed requests and more are likely to come. Normally, we never have more than a handful of requests at the same time.”
Georgieva disclosed that the executive board of the IMF had already approved the first of the emergency requests for the Kyrgyz Republic, a record fast disbursement.