BY EMEKA EJERE

Nigeria has officially slid into its worst economic recession in 33 years, latest figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), have confirmed.

According to the NBS gross domestic product report for the third quarter of 2020, Nigeria’s economy contracted by 3.62 per cent to record its lowest growth rate in more than three decades.

Business Hallmark’s checks reveal that the last time Nigeria had this magnitude of economic decline was under the regime of Ibrahim Babangida, when the economy recorded consecutive decline of 0.51 per cent and 0.82 per cent in first and second quarters of 1987.

This is also the second recession under the President Muhamadu Buhari’s democratic reign and the fourth under him as head of state..

The latest World Bank Nigeria Development Update (NDU), had projected that the collapse in oil prices coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to plunge the Nigerian economy into the worst economic recession since the 1980s

The report, “Nigeria In Times of COVID-19: Laying Foundations for a Strong Recovery,” estimated that Nigeria’s economy would likely contract by 3.2 per cent in 2020.

The projection assumed that the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria is contained by the third quarter of 2020. If the spread of the virus becomes more severe, the economy could contract further.

Before COVID-19, the Nigerian economy was expected to grow by 2.1per cent in 2020. What it means is that the pandemic has led to a reduction in growth by more than five percentage points.