Nigeria’s Finance Minister has recently stated that the country will face only a short recession if its economy shrinks again in the second quarter, because removing fuel subsidies and implementing policies to reduce dependency on oil will pay off.
“I think if we are in recession, what I will like to say is that we are going to come out of it and it is going to be a short one,” Adeosun told said after briefing the Senate on the economy. “I don’t think we should panic.”
The Finance Minister also said government measures such as the lifting of fuel subsidies and boosting of non-oil production would give the economy a fillip. “Agriculture output seems to be up,” she said.
“We were subsidising around 45 million litres of fuel per day. These are real savings to the economy which we are now redirecting into the essential infrastructure that will keep the economy going”, she said.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said Nigeria’s economy is likely to contract by 1.8 percent this year because of a slump in oil prices and a shortage of hard currency.
Gross domestic product contracted by 0.36 percent in the first quarter of the year and the central bank’s governor has said a recession appears to be imminent. Data for second-quarter GDP is expected in August.
In June, the central bank removed the naira’s peg to the dollar to ease dollar shortages, but liquidity remains thin and the currency dropped to a new low on Thursday.