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Nigeria, others may suffer $189.7 billion GDP loss over COVID-19

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) has said Nigeria and other countries might suffer a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) loss of no less than $189.7 billion in the worst-case scenario of the post-lockdown era.

With Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo accounting for the highest population on the continent, the lender said both nations could record the largest surges in extreme poverty in the region of 8.5 million and 2.7 million in the baseline scenario in 2020, and 11.5 and 3.4 million in the most unpleasant situation.

Though Africa has been the least affected continent, the financial institution pointed out that South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria and Algeria remain hot spots for the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Besides, the AfDB urged governments to embrace staggered re-opening of their economies, adding that extreme poverty could increase by 2.14 to 2.84 per cent this year, and about 3.63 per cent in 2021.

This, it noted, would push 49 million people into poverty, while 25-30 million jobs could be lost.

Prior to the outbreak of the virus, the organisation had said Africa’s economic growth remained stable in 2019 at 3.4 per cent, and was to pick up to 3.9 per cent this year, and 4.1 per cent in 2021.

Presenting the African Economic Outlook 2020 Supplement with revised growth projections and outlook for Africa for 2020/2021, considering the disease’s impact on the continent’s socio-economic landscape, the bank’s Director of Macroeconomic Policy, Forecasting and Research Department, Dr. Hanan Morsy, said under the baseline scenario, real GDP on the continent could contract by 1.7 per cent, and in the worst instance, it could fall by -3.4 per cent.

With partial recovery, about three per cent growth rate had been projected for 2021.

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