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Lockdown, physical distancing almost shut down economy – FG


The lockdown and physical distancing measures that were implemented to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria almost led to a complete shutdown of economic activities across the country, the Federal Government said on Sunday.



In her opening address in Abuja at the capacity building for Special Advisers and Technical Assistants of ministers, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, also said Nigeria’s economy would further suffer revenue decline in the third quarter of this year.



She said the economy faced serious challenges in the first half of 2020, seeing about 65 per cent decline in projected net 2020 government revenues from the oil and gas sector, with adverse consequences for foreign exchange inflows into the economy.



“We anticipate that these challenges will continue into the third quarter,” Ahmed said.



She added, “The necessary implementation of a lockdown and social distancing measures led to a near complete shutdown of economic activities, lay-offs across most sectors, loss of income, and a drop in average household purchasing power.”



According to her, all of these took place against the backdrop of the most recent National Bureau of Statistics five-year household survey on poverty in Nigeria.



She said the survey had found that the annual household income was less than N137,000 (approximately N11,000 per month) for more than 40 per cent of Nigerian households.
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