Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, decreased by six percent in real terms in the second quarter of 2020, according to the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, NBS.
This was contained in the NBS’s GDP report published on Monday, August 24, 2020.
The retreat ends a three-year trend of low but positive real growth rates recorded since the national economy emerged from recession in 2017.
According to the NBS, the decline was “largely attributable to significantly lower levels of both domestic and international economic activity during the quarter, which resulted from nationwide shutdown efforts aimed at containing the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Nigeria essentially shut down its economy in March – restricting inter-state travel, closing worship centres, schools, and markets – as parts of efforts to keep the spread of the novel coronavirus under control.
“The efforts, led by both the Federal and State governments, evolved over the course of the quarter and persisted throughout,” the NBS said.
The oil sector, which accounts for a large percentage of the country’s revenues, recorded negative growth of 6.63 percent, “indicating a decrease of –13.80% points relative to the rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019.”
The non-oil sector also declined by 6.05% in real terms during the second quarter.
“It was the first decline in real non-oil GDP growth rate since Q3 2017,” the NBS said.
Not a surprise
The economy’s decline did not come as a surprise to many as the coronavirus pandemic has gutted economic productivity across the world.
The report will be “negative,” Presidential aide, Tolu Ogunlesi, tweeted on Sunday. “Tomorrow we find out to what degree.”
Nigeria: Q2 projections are negative.
Tomorrow we find out to what degree.
— tolu ogunlesi (@toluogunlesi) August 23, 2020
The third-quarter results have also been projected to be negative, which will officially land the economy in a recession.
A recession is only declared after two consecutive quarterly contractions.
In May, finance minister, Zainab Ahmed, predicted that the country was heading towards a recession.
“On the economy, COVID-19 has resulted in the collapse in oil prices,” she said after a National Economic Summit meeting. “This will impact negatively, and the impact has already started showing on the federation’s revenues and on the foreign exchange earnings.”