Nigeria battles with first recession in 25 years

Global Business

The global oil slump has taken a heavy toll on Africa’s second biggest economy.

While some analysts predict Nigeria will climb out of recession this year, it will be an uphill battle for the government.

CGTN’s Rachelle Akuffo reports.

That’s how Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo described the country’s economy, at an event marking the 2nd year of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

President Buhari was notably absent from Monday’s celebration – it’s the latest in a string of absences for an undisclosed medical condition.

The timing couldn’t be worse. Nigeria is in the midst of a deep recession – its first since 1991.

Nigeria’s economy has been heavily reliant on crude oil production. The 2014 global oil slump hit the country hard and left the government scrambling to diversify its industries.

The recent oil production cuts from OPEC are adding pressure. Compound that with rising inflation, a slowdown in production, growing income inequality and a currency clawing back from all-time lows.

In an effort to reboot the economy, President Buhari announced an economic growth and recovery plan in April.

It’s a mid-term plan through the year 2020; a blueprint for a 3-pronged approach of restoring growth, investing in the Nigerian people, and building a competitive economy.

Agriculture, trade and telecoms continue to be bright spots for the economy. Several free trade zones are either operational or under construction, and more being planned.

The IMF remains cautiously optimistic, forecasting economic activity will recover with 0.8 percent growth for 2017.

Joseph Wambia discusses top challenges to Nigeria’s economy

For more on Nigeria’s economy, CGTN’s Rachelle Akuffo spoke to Joseph Wambia, CEO and chief investment officer of Wambia Capital Group.