Lilian Ogbonna (AGENDAWATCHDOG) – According to a projection by the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), the country’s economy is expected to contract in the second quarter of 2020, consequent to the six weeks lockdown imposed in some parts of the country as part of measures to stem the spread of COVID-19.
According to NECA, the real effect of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy would come to the fore in the Q2 GDP result consequent to the lockdown, a projection that was borne out of the National Bureau of Statistics’ (NBS) latest Q1 2020 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) report in which Nigeria’s economy was quoted as having grown by 1.87%.
NECA posits that the slowdown in the GDP growth mirrored the disruptions in the non-oil sector of the economy by the pandemic, in tandem with the adversarial relations between China and the USA, urging for increased fiscal and monetary policies meant to boost the non-oil sector to provide shock absorbers for the economy from external forces.
Excerpts of NECA’s statement read:
“We anticipate contraction in the second quarter, as the economy witnessed a 6week’s lockdown on the commercial nerves of the country, and similar trend witnessed in global economy, except China, whose consumption of fuel due to opening of industrial hubs and transportation could portends mild positive growth pattern due to demand for crude oil.”
“There is the need for the Fiscal and Monetary authorities to develop a more aggressive and decisive policies to sustain an economic recovery in the wake of further low oil prices. We believe that a more coordinated stimulus packages targeted at the worst-hit sectors of the economy would sustain the economy from experiencing contraction of 8.9% as predicted.”