Nigeria slips into recession, weighed down by COVID-19 and oil prices


  • Published: 2020-11-21 18:11:34 BdST

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A reflection of two gas flaring furnaces and a woman walking on sand barriers is seen in the pool of oil-smeared water at a flow station in Ughelli, Delta State, Nigeria September 17, 2020. Reuters

Nigeria has slipped into a recession after its gross domestic product contracted for the second consecutive quarter, according to data released by the statistician general on Saturday.

Africa's biggest economy was last in recession in 2016, its first in a generation, and emerged the following year.

But growth had been fragile and the coronavirus pandemic hit the economy hard, as did low oil prices. The continent's top oil exporter relies on crude sales for 90% of foreign exchange earnings.

"Q3 2020 Real GDP contracted for second consecutive quarter by -3.62%," Yemi Kale said on Twitter.

"Cumulative GDP for the first 9 months of 2020 therefore stood at -2.48%," he added.

The government had previously said it expected the economy to contract by as much as 8.9% this year in a worst-case scenario without stimulus.