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Covid-19 pandemic and economic crisis: The Nigerian experience and structural causes

Ozili, Peterson K (2020): Covid-19 pandemic and economic crisis: The Nigerian experience and structural causes.

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Abstract

The economic downturn in Nigeria was triggered by a combination of declining oil price and spillovers from the Covid-19 outbreak, which not only led to a fall in the demand for oil products but also stopped economic activities from taking place when social distancing policies were enforced. The government responded to the crisis by providing financial assistance to businesses, not to households, that were affected by the outbreak. The monetary authority adopted accommodative monetary policies and offered a targeted 3.5trillion loan support to some sectors. These efforts should have prevented the economic crisis from occurring but it didn’t. Economic agents refused to engage in economic activities for fear of contracting the Covid-19 disease that was spreading very fast at the time. In this paper, I analyse the Covid-19 spillovers to Nigeria and the structural weaknesses in Nigeria’s infrastructure that helped bring on the current economic crisis and discuss prospects for reform.

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