Nigeria Will Exit Recession Soon - Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has said Nigeria will be out of the recession soon. Over the weekend, Nigeria slid into its worst economic recession in over three decades. Gross domestic product (GDP) numbers released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Saturday, November 21, indicates the nation recorded a contraction of 3.62 percent in the third quarter of 2020, causing it to slide into another recession. While speaking at the ongoing 26th Nigerian Economic Summit organized by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, on Monday, November 23, the Minister of Finance said the country would emerge from the recession in the fourth quarter of 2020 or by the first quarter of 2021. She blamed the recession on the global Coronavirus pandemic which has forced other economies in other countries into recession. Ahmed said other countries also in recession, including the United Kingdom, the

CBN To hold $500m Forwards Auction

Nigeria's central bank will sell $500 million of two- and three-month currency forwards at auction on Monday to clear a demand backlog from manufacturers, traders said, as it seeks ways to resolve a chronic dollar shortage.

A lack of dollars has caused many firms to halt operations and lay off workers, compounding an economic crisis rooted in falls in the price of oil, which accounts for 70 percent of Nigeria's budget revenues.............................

Africa's biggest economy is facing its first recession in 25 years.

The central bank asked lenders to submit bids for the forwards before 1300 GMT, traders said.

The bank held a two-month dollar forward auction two weeks ago in which it sold less than expected, traders said.

The economic crisis has kept the naira under pressure against the dollar, and the central bank has struggled to support the local currency with diminishing foreign exchange reserves.

It said on Monday its dollar reserves dipped to $23.95 billion as of Oct 27, down 2.7 percent from Sept 27 and 20.5 percent lower than a year ago.

Traders said there had been no activity on the interbank market, where the naira is quoted at 305 per dollar, two hours after it opened on Monday.

On the black market, the naira was quoted at 470. (Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha and Oludare Mayowa; editing by John Stonestreet)