It is no longer news that Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, against all expectations exited recession as its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 0.11% in the last quarter of 2020 (year on year).
However, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, had expressed optimism last year that the country was going to come out of recession in the fourth quarter of 2020.
According to the report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), this is the first positive quarterly growth in the last 3 quarters following growth in telecommunications and agriculture which seem to make up for the sharp drop in oil prices and production.
The surprising rebound of the Nigerian economy is coming against the prediction of the country’s Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, who while speaking at the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit, said that Nigeria is expected to exit recession by the first quarter of 2021.
The CBN Governor had during the November 2020 Monetary Policy Committee meeting, predicted that the country was going to come out of recession by the fourth quarter of 2020.
This as he said that many analysts expressed doubts about that and were waiting to prove him wrong.
In a video during a press conference as seen by Nairametrics, Emefiele said, “You said that in November MPC, I was cautiously optimistic that fourth-quarter GDP will be positive thereby taking Nigeria out of a recession that I was aggressively optimistic that during the first quarter, we will exit recession. I am praying very seriously that my prayer should be heard because I know that people are waiting to put my neck on the chopping board to say that I do not know my work.’’
What you should know
- Despite Nigeria’s surprise exit from recession, experts have still expressed their reservations about the country’s weak economy which is faced with several challenges for businesses ranging from foreign exchange pressure, high unemployment level, increasing consumer prices, serious security challenges, weak investor confidence, etc.
- This is as the growth in GDP was primarily driven by the Information and Communication sector and the Agricultural sector.
- However, the surprise rebound of the economy means that Nigeria may recover faster than expected as crude oil prices and production increase this year.
- This also shows that the country needs to redouble its efforts in the growth of the non-oil sector which contributed 94.13% to Nigeria’s GDP.