President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, October 8, disclosed that the Nigerian economy is facing serious stress and may slip back into recession.
Buhari made this disclosure at the presentation of the 2021 budget estimates to the Joint Session of the National Assembly in Abuja.
According to the president, the economy has been decimated due to the global economic fallout from COVID-19 adding that a drop in crude oil prices deprives the country of key revenues.
He presented a budget of N13.1 trillion, which represents over 20 per cent increase from last year’s spending plan.
The budget, he said, comes with a deficit of N4.8 trillion that will be financed mainly by borrowing.
Buhari noted that global crude prices tumbled early in the year, falling below $20 per barrel in April.
He said, “The 2021 Budget was prepared amidst a challenging global and domestic environment due to the persistent headwinds from the Coronavirus Pandemic. The resulting global economic recession, low oil prices and heightened global economic uncertainty have had important implications for our economy.
“The Nigerian economy is currently facing serious challenges, with the macroeconomic environment being significantly disrupted by the Coronavirus Pandemic. Real Gross Domestic Product growth declined by 6.1 percent in the second quarter of 2020.
“This ended the 3-year trend of positive, but modest, real GDP growth recorded since the second quarter of 2017. I am glad to note that, through our collective efforts, our economy performed relatively better than that of many other developed and emerging economies.
“GDP growth is projected to be negative in the third quarter of this year. As such, our economy may lapse into the second recession in four years, with significant adverse consequences.
“However, we are working assiduously to ensure a rapid recovery in 2021. We remain committed to implementing programmes to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty over the next 10 years.”