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Photo: Buhari receives briefing on economic impact of COVID-19 Pandemic from Ministers

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Earlier today, President Muhammadu Buhari received a briefing on impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Nigeria’s economy from the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, Minister of State for Petroleum, H.E. Timipre Sylva, CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and GMD of NNPC, Mele Kyari.

ElombahNews has reported that African oil-producing and reliant countries have been among the most hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and declining oil price. In particular, Senegal, Nigeria and Angola continue to face new challenges each day amid the threat of economic fallout.

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The Atlantic Council has predicted that COVID-19 would cause Nigeria to suffer the biggest lost in the continent with $15.4bn, representing about 4% of the nation’s GDP, a fair assessment considering the country has over $58bn in oil projects set to suffer delays or cancellations.

Nigeria is projected to suffer substantial revenue losses. With it having planned for an oil price of $57 in 2020, the low oil price presents massive struggles for Africa’s largest oil producer. To this point, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari said at a crude oil price of $22 per barrel, high-cost oil producers like Nigeria should count themselves out of the business.

Though the country is yet to announce incentives for continued oil exploration and production, it is set on protecting its oil production which contributes generously to its economy. Specifically, the country’s petroleum regulator has, according to Reuters, ordered oil and gas companies to reduce their offshore workforce and move to 28-day staff rotations in order to avoid the spread of coronavirus.

“Nigeria is at risk to suffer the biggest loss. With the low oil price pushing the country to cut its budget and companies to reduce their CAPEX, the global is waiting to see Nigeria’s next move,” said NJ Ayuk, “Although it is hard to see the light for Nigeria, with the commitment of companies and resilience of the government, the country can certainly weather the storm, “ he added.

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