Nigeria has officially fallen into another recession, four years after West Africa’s largest oil producer announced an earlier recession, handing the Buhari Administration the ignominy of leading the country into two recessions.
The government’s statistical agency National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), which released the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers of the largest economy in Africa, announced this on Saturday noting that this is the worst in thirty-three years.
The NBS said that Nigeria, which relies heavily on crude oil for foreign earnings, suffered a 3.62 per cent contraction in its economy in the third quarter of 2020.
This is the second consecutive quarterly GDP decline since the recession of 2016. The cumulative GDP for the first nine months of 2020, therefore, stood at -2.48 per cent.
The last time Nigeria recorded such a cumulative GDP was in 1987 when GDP declined by 10.8 per cent.
Sources say that a primary reason for the recession is the coronavirus pandemic and dwindling oil price caused by a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in restrictions of movement and affected the amount of fuel consumed since people were not allowed to move around.
The country last slid into a recession in 2016 during the first term administration of President Buhari. This means both terms of his administration has now been marred by a recession.
In the second quarter of this year, the economy of the nation contracted by 6.1 per cent mainly because of the shut down of the economy during the period.
“The performance of the economy in Q3 2020 reflected residual effects of the restrictions to movement and economic activity implemented across the country in early Q2 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As these restrictions were lifted, businesses re-opened and international travel and trading activities resumed, some economic activities have returned to positive growth.
“A total of 18 economic activities recorded positive growth in Q3 2020, compared to 13 activities in Q2 2020,” the NBS said in its report.