Nigeria Moving into Recession as COVID-19 Bites Harder on the Economy

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SWITZERLAND, MAY 22 – The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Nigerian economy is beginning to reflect in statistics as the consumer price index, (CPI) which measures inflation increased by 12.34 percent (year-on-year) in April 2020. Inflation is now at its highest in over two years.

This was revealed in the latest Consumer Price Index published by the National Bureau of Statistics(NBS) on Thursday.

The full report can be downloaded here: file:///C:/Users/Ayodele/Downloads/CPI_REPORT_APRIL_2020..pdf

According to NBS, on month-on-month basis, the Headline index increased by 1.02 percent in April 2020. This is 0.18 percent rate higher than the rate recorded in March 2020 (0.84 percent).

The corresponding twelve-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index is 12.26 percent in April 2020. This is higher than 12.15 percent reported in March 2020, while the corresponding rural inflation rate in April 2020 is 11.20 percent compared to 11.14 percent recorded in March 2020.

On a month-on-month basis, the urban index rose by 1.06 percent in April 2020, up by 0.18 from 0.88 percent recorded in March 2020, while the rural index also rose by 0.98 percent in April 2020, up by 0.18 from the rate recorded in March 2020 (0.80) percent.


The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the twelve months period ending April 2020 over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve months period was 11.71 percent, showing 0.09 percent point rise from 11.62 percent recorded in March 2020.


The urban inflation rate increased by 13.01 percent (year-on-year) in April 2020 from 12.93 percent recorded in March 2020, while the rural inflation rate increased by 11.73 percent in April 2020 from 11.64
percent in March 2020.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed has said that Nigeria was heading into a recession as COVID-19 and falling oil prices are set to force the economy into negative growth.

“On the economy, COVID-19 has resulted in the collapse in oil prices,” she said. “This will impact negatively, and the impact has already started showing on the federation’s revenues and on the foreign exchange earnings.

“Net oil and gas revenue and influx to the federation account in the first quarter of 2020 amounted to N940.91billion.  This represented a shortfall of N125. 52billion or 31% of the prorated amount that is supposed to have been realised by the end of that first quarter,” Ahmed said in Abuja on Thursday.

The Finance Minister was speaking hours before the National Centre for Disease Control(NCDC) announced 339 fresh cases of COVID-19, bringing the country’s total confirmed cases to 7016. Lagos remains the epicentre with 3093 cases.


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