COVID-19 caused recession- President Buhari

The National Bureau of Statistics released its gross domestic product (GDP) figures on Saturday, November 21, indicating that the country recorded a contraction of 3.62% in the third quarter of 2020.

This is the second consecutive quarterly decline in GDP since the last recession in 2016. Cumulative GDP for the first nine months of 2020 therefore stood at -2.48%.

The last time Nigeria experienced a worse decline in its economy was in 1987, when GDP fell by 10.8 percent.

President Buhari, while declaring the opening of the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit on the theme: “Building Partnerships for Resilience”, made the affirmation on the cause of the recent recession.

Buhari, who was represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said the decline in the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) came after 12 successive quarters of positive growth. He also added that lockdowns, disruption of global supply chains, business bankruptcies and rising unemployment were behind the recent recession.

The president said;

“We can all recall that during the lockdown, farming did not take place, businesses were closed; schools were closed as were hotels and restaurants.
“Also, airlines stopped flying, while inter-state commerce was disrupted.
“The economy only began to recover when these activities resumed and if we are able to sustain the nearly three percentage point increase from the second quarter decline of minus 6.1 per cent, the performance in the fourth quarter could take us into positive territory.”

Buhari, who revealed his administration’s efforts to mitigate this impact, led to the introduction of the Economic Sustainability Plan (PES), further revealed that all PES programs depend on the private sector playing a key role in creation and preservation of jobs and production. and the provision of services in the areas of agriculture, housing, solar energy and digital technologies.

Buhari also noted that partnerships are essential and also necessary to craft medium and long-term development plans as the country battles the COVID-19 pandemic. Stressing that the private sector has a key role to play in efforts to build a more resilient and competitive economy as outlined in the economic recovery and growth plan, the president further asserted that private design, construction, logistics and finance were very very engaged in the country’s infrastructure projects in the fields of energy and rail as well as roads and bridges

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