Nigeria’s economy has again slipped into recession, the second in five years and the worst the country has experienced in 36 years.
According to the latest report released on Saturday by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the Gross Domestic Product fell by 3.62 per cent in the three months up till September.
For the first time in more than three years, the Nigerian economy shrank in Q2 as the GDP fell by 6.10 per cent, compared with a growth of 1.87 per cent in Q1.
The report said: “The performance of the economy in Q3 2020 reflected residual effects of the restrictions to movement and economic activity implemented across the country in early Q2 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
It said as the restrictions were lifted, businesses reopened and international travel and trading activities resumed, some economic activities had returned to positive growth.
“A total of 18 economic activities recorded positive growth in Q3 2020, compared to 13 activities in Q2 2020,” it added.
The NBS said aggregate GDP stood at N39.09tn in nominal terms and N17.82tn in real terms in the period under review.
This comes amid rising debt profile, inflation and unemployment, as well as other challenges bedevilling the nation.
Total public debt, constituting both the federal and state governments’ external and domestic debt, in the first half of 2020 stood at N31.01tn or 22.3 per cent of GDP, a sizeable increase of 20.6 per cent over its level at the end of June 2019, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Inflation rate in the country jumped to 14.23 per cent in October from 13.71 per cent in September, according to the NBS.
This year’s recession is the worst in 36 years as data obtained from the World Bank showed that the country’s GDP dropped by 10.92 per cent in 1983 and 1.2 per cent in 1984.
The World Bank 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”.