The Nigerian economy under President Muhammadu Buhari has slumped into its second recession in five years after the gross domestic product contracted the second consecutive quarter.
The National Bureau of Statistics on Saturday announced that the nation recorded a contraction of 3.62 percent in the third quarter of 2020.
This year’s recession, occasioned by the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, is worse than that of 2016. The country had earlier recorded a 6.10 percent contraction in the second quarter.
It is the nation’s second recession since 2016, and the worst economic decline in almost four decades.
For the first time in more than three years, the Nigerian economy shrank in the second quarter of this year as the GDP fell by 6.10 percent, compared with a growth of 1.87 percent in Q1.
The NBS had said in August that the economic decline in Q2 was largely attributable to significantly lower levels of both domestic and international economic activity resulting from nationwide shutdown efforts aimed at containing the COVID-19 pandemic.
It said the contraction in Q2 brought to an end the three-year trend of low but positive real growth rates recorded since the 2016/17 recession.
The economy, which emerged from its first recession in 25 years in Q2 2017 when it posted a 0.7 percent growth, had continued its slow recovery since then but the COVID-19 crisis made things worse.
In 2016, the economy slipped into recession in Q2 as the GDP shrank by 2.1 percent after falling by 0.4 percent in Q1 on the back of the steep fall in global crude oil prices and the country’s production volumes.
Last month, the World Bank revised its 2020 forecast for Nigeria’s economy to -4.1 percent from its previous projection of -3.2 percent, saying the country’s near-term outlook was subject to “considerable uncertainty”.
The bank had said in June that the collapse in crude oil prices, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, was expected to “plunge the Nigerian economy into a severe recession, the worst since the 1980s”.