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Nigeria must prepare for a big hit in a prolonged recession, say UK experts

Members of a webinar panel of experts organised by the Financial Times yesterday said Nigeria would take a big hit from the current collapse in oil price and the prolonged recession that would follow the deadly coronavirus pandemic that has gripped economies of the world.

The panel was asked to examine how deep the economic recession would be and whether countries of the world were putting up the right response.

The panel moderated by Chris Giles, the FT’s economic editor, was composed of Lord Adair Turner, former chair of the UK Financial Services Authority, Rain Newton Smith, chief economist of the British Confederation of Industry, and Martin Wolf, the FT’s chief economics commentator.

A global audience attracted to the webinar participated in vote with most of them saying they expected to see a prolonged, difficult economic period or a recession ahead.

According to the panellists, people of the world were most likely to raise demand for agile, capable, quick thinking and acting government in their different countries at the end of the coronavirus pandemic.
They also said they expected there to be an explosion in unsustainable debt in the global oil industry while a country like Nigeria would take a big hit from the oil price collapse and the economic shrinkage that it will force.

In addition, the experts said for the UK, the matter of a quick Brexit settlement was off the front burner although they expect that the European Union would survive the economic crisis that is unfolding.

One issue which they agreed was difficult to handle was the balance between pushing for the health of the nations and the need to keep economies around the world going because of the impact of the lockdown imposed by different governments.

They called the joggling a new normal but agreed that the lockdown would need to be tough enough to work well in delivering desired results at short time to enable the shackles to be dismantled.
None of them expected the lockdown to go when the world is still grappling with bed shortages and the absence of ventilators around the world.

The panellists also said they do not expect any significant clampdown on capitalism when the pandemic is over.

 

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