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Nigeria would soon go into recession – Finance minister

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FINANCE minister Zainab Ahmed has said Nigeria would soon go into a recession.

But the federal government is trying to make sure it is shallow so that Nigeria can quickly come out of it by 2021, she added.

According to the minister, Nigeria’s economy could shrink as much as 8.9 per cent in 2020 in a worst-case scenario.

This would be a deeper recession than what was forecast after oil prices sink due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But with a stimulus, the contraction could be kept to just 0.59 per cent, the minister said.

The pandemic and oil price plunge have not only hit growth but also dented the country’s main source of income, creating large financing needs and weakening the naira.

Ahmed said, “Nigeria’s first-quarter revenue from crude sales was 940.9 billion Naira, missing its target by 31 per cent due to the oil price crash.”

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“Nigeria has $72.04 million in its oil savings account as of May 21, compared to $325 million in November,” she added.

According to worldometers as of 22 May 2020 Nigeria recorded 7,016 cases, 211 death and 1907 total cases recovered.

A World Bank director in attendance during the meeting said the Bank was planning a package for immediate economic relief for Nigeria.

Nigeria’s finance minister said the proposal was worth $1.5 billion and intended for Nigeria’s states to provide relief at sub-national level and hopefully to be disbursed by September.

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