Nigeria: Covid-19 – Sustained, Deep Policy Reforms Required for a Stronger Recovery in Nigeria – World Bank

The World Bank says COVID-19 has caused the worst recession in Nigeria in the last four decades.

Sustaining and deepening policy reform momentum will critically reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the Nigerian economy, the World Bank has said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all economies around the world, causing the worst recession in Nigeria in the last four decades.

In its latest Nigeria Development Update (NDU) report titled “Rising to the Challenge: Nigeria’s COVID response”, the World Bank said to avoid reversal of decades of economic growth, Nigeria needs to sustain the progress of its current reforms and implement the right mix of policy measures.

The report took stock of the recently implemented reforms and proposed policy options to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and foster a resilient, sustainable, and inclusive recovery.

According to a statement in Abuja on Thursday, the Bank’s Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, said “Nigeria is at a critical historical juncture, with a choice to make”.

“Nigeria can choose to break decisively from business-as-usual, and rise to its considerable potential by sustaining the bold reforms that have been taken thus far and going even further and with an even greater sense of urgency to promote faster and more inclusive economic growth.”

The report projected that the economy could shrink up to 4 per cent in 2020 following the twin shocks of COVID-19 and low oil prices. The pace of recovery in 2021 and beyond remains highly uncertain and subject to the pace of reforms.

It said the pandemic was disproportionately affecting the poor and most vulnerable, women in particular.

In the absence of measures to mitigate the impact of the crisis, the number of poor could increase by 15 to 20 million by 2022.