‘Nigeria moved out of recession earlier than expected’ – World Bank

The World Bank has disclosed that Nigeria made an early exit out of recession than projected in its October 2020 forecast for sub-Saharan Africa.

This disclosure was made by the bank in its latest Africa Pulse Report for April 2021 titled: ‘Covid-19 and the Future of Work in Africa: Emerging Trends in Digital Technology Adoption’. The Bank said Nigeria’s oil sector weakened in the fourth quarter of 2020 despite an increase in oil prices.

Recall that Nigeria had slid into its worst economic recession in over three decades (33 years) with a contraction of 3.62 percent. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced in February 2021 that Nigeria exited its second recession in five years by a slight increase of 0.11 percent.

The World Bank, in the report, said real gross domestic product (GDP) in West and Central Africa contracted by an estimate of 1.1 percent in 2020, partly owing to a less severe contraction than expected in Nigeria during the second half of 2020. According to the report, Nigeria is expected to return to growth in 2021, partly owing to higher commodity prices, however, it said the recovery will remain sluggish.

The Bank further projects that Nigeria’s real GDP will rebound from a 1.8 percent contraction in 2020 to moderate growth of 1.4 percent in 2021. It said this will be driven by telecommunications services, trade due to gradual opening of borders, agriculture, and construction.

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