The federal government has projected that Nigeria’s economy will recover from the effect of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the first quarter of 2021.
This aligns with the projection of several analysts who are of the view that the recovery may have even started projecting that the huge drop in the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, at -6.1 percent in the second quarter of 2020, Q2’20, would be moderated in the third quarter, Q3’20, adding, however, that the figures would still be negative while effectively placing the economy in recession.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, disclosed the government’s projection when board members of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) paid her a courtesy visit in Abuja, said the prediction is based on “the minimal impact of the pandemic”.
In a statement signed by Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi, Special Adviser, Media and Communications to the Finance Minister, Ahmed urged FIRS to do more in revenue generation in order to service government debt and implement other government economic recovery activities.
“The shocks have not manifested as expected and the pandemic has not impacted much, especially in Nigeria because of the proactive measures taken by the government especially in the health sector,” she said.
“We are expecting by the first quarter of 2021, we shall be okay. There are other government obligations and debt servicing which requires revenue to fund and we can see that the capacity to do more is there and we expect you (FIRS) to do more,” the statement said.
Ahmed added that she is happy that “FIRS has remained resolute as both value-added tax (VAT) and stamp duty have helped in boosting the revenue”.
There are projections that the economy will slip into its worst recession in 30 years and the second in five years after the 2016 recession.
A report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that Nigeria’s gross domestic product shrunk by six percent in the second quarter of 2020.