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30 economic sectors witnessed negative growth in 2nd quarter – FG

The federal government on Wednesday said Nigeria’s economy has shown some level of resilience in performance, despite the COVID-19 global economic challenges which saw as many as 30 sectors of the economy showing negative growth.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, while reviewing the second-quarter GDP report, earlier released by the National Bureau of Statistics on the 24th of August, at the Virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council FEC on Wednesday, said from the last report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the Nigerian economy fared better than expected.

“We also reported to council that even though out of the 46 sectors of the economy, 30 of these sectors showed negative growth, but there were still some sectors that were growing on the positive territory.

“These sectors include agriculture as well as financial services and ICT services. This is actually showing that even during the COVID era, there were still some sectors that stood firm and indeed were growing.

The Minister explained measures are being put in place to stabilize the economy and ensure that it continues to run despite the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We presented a memo to the council in respect of the second-quarter GDP report, earlier released by the National Bureau of Statistics on the 24th of August.

“Why the memo is so dated is because there was a retreat last week and we couldn’t get it scheduled as well. Still, for us, the information is important and topical.

“The GDP report shows that the economy went into negative growth of -6.10 percent in the second quarter but that the aggregate performance for half the year 2020 is -2.1 percent. This performance of -6.10 percent is a good performance in the sense that it is better than what we have projected second-quarter performance to be at -7.2 percent.

“This performance also is a good performance because it outperformed the projections that had been done by the Brentwood institutions. But it also outperformed very developed economies of the world and also economies that are comparable to us.

“The US for example went into negative growth of 33 percent for the second quarter of 2020 and 19 percent half-year 2020. Similarly, the UK, Canada, Italy, and several countries of the world all went into very significant negative growth.

“The inflation was also reported to be moving up gradually, capital importation did not dry up despite the lockdowns and the difficulties all countries experienced. But this is reflected by the significant decline in capital importation into the country.

“Exchange rate has moved up from $326 at the beginning of the quarter to $367. Again this is reflecting some of the policies that the government had to take to ensure that the economy remains in a stable condition.

“In addition to the roll-out of the economic sustainability plan, which had seen us starting to implement major public works across the country, to ensure that people are employed or kept in jobs, this ESP improve support for small businesses including payroll support so that people are not finding themselves unemployed or small businesses are not closing down.

“Other interventions included intervention funds for small, medium enterprises to be able to borrow, intervention funds for the health sector, intervention funds for infrastructure.

“All of these are designed to ensure continuous economic activities help to stabilize the economy. We are lucky that these things were rolled out early reducing the impact of the negative growth.”

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