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Abuja
Saturday, June 19, 2021
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has stated that the Nigerian economy has gradually began to recover from the negative effects of the COVID-19 globally threatened pandemic. This was stated by the IMF team led by Ms. Jesmin Rahman after its virtual meetings with the Nigerian authorities from June 1-8, 2021 to discuss recent economic, financial developments and the outlook. In a recent statement by Ms. Rahman, she said: “The Nigerian economy has started to gradually recover from the negative effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Recall that the federal government has been hastening economic recovery, according to Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, in response to ongoing health and economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The government has adopted counter-cyclical fiscal policies to accelerate economic recovery. Stating this at the public consultation for the Finance Act 2020, Mrs. Ahmed also said: “Economic activities in the country are recovering gradually, reflected by a reduced contraction of 3.6 percent in the third quarter of 2020, compared to the 6.1 percent contraction in the previous quarter.” In Rahman’s word: “Following sharp output contractions in the second and third quarters, gross domestic product (GDP) growth turned positive in Q4 2020 and growth reached 0.5 percent (y/y) in Q1 2021, supported by agriculture and services sectors. Nevertheless, the employment level continues to fall dramatically and, together with other socio-economic indicators, is far below pre-pandemic levels. “Inflation slightly decelerated in May but remained elevated at 17.9 percent, owing to high food price inflation. With the recovery in oil prices and remittance flows, the strong pressures on the balance of payments have somewhat abated, although imports are rebounding faster than exports and foreign investor appetite remains subdued resulting in continued foreign exchange (FX) shortage”.   Stating further she also said: “The incipient recovery in economic activity is projected to...

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