A man counts naira banknotes at a market in Abuja, Nigeria. Picture: REUTERS/AFOLABI SOTUNDE
A man counts naira banknotes at a market in Abuja, Nigeria. Picture: REUTERS/AFOLABI SOTUNDE

Abuja — Nigeria might fall into recession in the third quarter, the head of the country's budget office said on Thursday, citing the affect of low oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic.

The continent's top oil producer faces its worst economic crisis in four decades in the wake of an oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia at the start of the year, and the pandemic, which hurt demand for its main export commodity which provides 90% of foreign exchange earnings.

Ben Akabueze, director-general of the budget office, told reporters it was expected that growth in the third quarter would be negative and the country might fall into recession.

It would be the second quarter of negative growth after the economy contracted by 6% in the second quarter of 2020.

Nigeria's economy was last in recession in 2016, its first in 25 years, and since then growth has been sluggish.

The International Monetary Fund has said it sees Nigeria’s GDP falling 5.4% in 2020, and the government has said the economy may shrink by as much as 8.9%.

Meanwhile,  Nigeria will resume international flights from September 5, the head of the aviation regulatory body said on Thursday.

Musa Nuhu, director-general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, made the comments at a news conference for the task force on coronavirus.

International flights, which were halted in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, had been expected to resume on August 29.

Reuters 

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