(Ecofin Agency) - Over the first quarter this year, Nigeria’s economy advanced by 1.8%, down from 2.55% the previous quarter, the slowest growth rate in a year and a half. Figures were provided by the national bureau of statistics on May 25.
The office links this weak evolution to the global sluggish environment due to the coronavirus pandemic and the tensions between Russia and Saudi Arabia, which caused oil prices to fall.
Over the period reviewed, growth in the Nigerian oil sector contracted by 1.3%, compared to Q4 2019, to 5.06%. The non-oil sector grew by only 1.55%, down 0.72% compared to the last three months of 2019, according to official data.
The country’s finance minister, Zainab Ahmed, recently reported that growth is expected to shrink up to 8.9% this year if a rescue plan is not deployed. While Nigeria is forecasting an increase in the poverty rate due to the pandemic, which has already affected 8,068 people in the country, the government is seeking $7 billion to revive the economy. The International Monetary Fund has already approved $3.4 billion.