Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to expand by 1.5 per cent this year, after a contraction of 3.5 per cent in 2020, a United Nations (UN) report said on Wednesday.
In the latest World Economic Situation and Prospects report, the UN noted, that tighter foreign exchange (forex) liquidity, mounting inflationary pressures and subdued domestic demand clouded the medium-term outlook.
Although last year, the global economy shrank by 4.3 per cent, this year’s projected recovery of 4.7 per cent will barely offset the losses of 2020, according to the report.
The World Economic Situation and Prospects 2021 is a report produced by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), in partnership with the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the five UN regional commissions.
In the report, the global body warned that the devastating socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt for years to come unless smart investments in economic, societal and climate resilience ensure a robust and sustainable recovery of the global economy.
Specifically, the UN observed that African countries are experiencing an unprecedented economic downturn with major adverse impacts on development.
Commenting on the report, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, said: “We are facing the worst health and economic crisis in 90 years. As we mourn the growing death toll, we must remember that the choices we make now will determine our collective future. Let’s invest in an inclusive and sustainable future driven by smart policies, impactful investments, and a strong and effective multilateral system that places people at the heart of all socio-economic efforts.”
The report underscored that sustained recovery from the pandemic will depend not only on the size of the stimulus measures, and the quick rollout of vaccines, but also on the quality and efficacy of these measures to build resilience against future shocks.
Despite the relatively few numbers of cases compared to other continents, the report, posited that the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to strongly impact living conditions and development progress in Africa.
“The crisis is already increasing unemployment, poverty and inequality. Most countries are facing enormous challenges to keep the pandemic under control and mobilise financial resources to support health systems, protect vulnerable groups, and support the recovery. “After a contraction of 3.4 per cent in 2020, Africa is projected to achieve a modest recovery, with regional GDP expanding by 3.4 per cent in 2021. This recovery is predicated on the rise of domestic demand and the pick-up of exports and commodity prices”, the report said.