The minister said this on Thursday, May 21, 2020, after the National Economic Council meeting.
She said, “The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has made an assessment. So, it is the NBS assessment that Nigeria will go into a recession measuring at an average of -4.4%.
“But with the work that the Economic Accessibility Committee is doing; bringing stimulus packages, we believe that we can reduce the impact of that recession.
“And if we applied all that have been proposed and we are able to implement it, we may end up with a recession that is -0.4 per cent. In any case, we will go into recession but what we are trying to do is to make sure that it is shallow so that we will quickly come out of it come 2021.”
A country’s economy goes into recession when its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reduces for two consecutive quarters.
In her statement on Thursday, Ahmed suggested that Nigeria would slip into recession in the second quarter of 2020.
Nigeria is one of the countries hardest hit by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
On why Nigeria is gradually reopening its economy despite the daily increase in coronavirus cases, the minister said the economy needs to be supported to prevent it from falling into a depression.
She said, “This is a very difficult time because the challenges we have now are double. There is health challenge, there is an economic challenge. Even as we are addressing the current health challenge, we still have to look at how we can support the economy so that the economy does not fall into a depression.
“We have to feed the people and you can only feed the people if people go out and farm. We are a very large population, we don’t want to take the risk and we don’t have enough fund to cushion the effect.”