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Nigeria, 39 others may not attain pre-COVID-19 GDP levels by 2026 – World Bank

World Bank

World Bank

The World Bank has said that Nigeria and 39 other countries may not return to pre-COVID-19 levels of Gross Domestic Product per capita even by 2026 despite projected rates of economic growth.

It said this in a new report titled ‘From double shock to double recovery – Implications and options for health financing in the time of COVID-19’.

According to the report, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a deep economic contraction in 2020.

“COVID-19 led to a deep economic contraction in 2020. On average, country GDP per capita is estimated to have contracted by 5.9 per cent,” it stated.

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However, the economy is projected to recover strongly in 2021, which may be the strongest growth after a recession in 80 years.

“The global economy is projected to bounce back strongly starting in 2021 – the recovery may well result in the strongest growth seen in the immediate aftermath of any recession in the last 80 years,” the report said.

According to the report, just as the effects of the pandemic differ, the recovery process also differs from one country to another.

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It added that the projected rates of economic growth would be insufficient for 40 countries to return to pre-COVID-19 levels of GDP per capita even by 2026.

The 40 countries included four low-income countries, 15 lower-middle-income countries, 10 upper-middle-income countries and 11 high-income countries.

The report stated, “The variation across countries observed in 2020 extends to country prospects for a subsequent return to economic growth.

“Of greatest concern, projected rates of economic growth will be insufficient to allow 40 countries to return to pre-COVID-19 levels of GDP per capita even by 2026. This group consists of four LICs, 15 LMICs, 10 UMICs, and 11 HICs.”

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Nigeria was categorised under LMICs with other countries such as Algeria, Angola, Comoros, Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, the Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, Vanuatu, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The report further stated that Nigeria and some other countries would experience about 20 per cent fall in general government revenue per capita due to the pandemic.

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