Ahmed was speaking on Monday at the 26th edition of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG).

Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Saturday showed that the economy has slipped into its second recession in four years.

The minister said the recession was caused by the  COVID-19 pandemic and reduced oil demand which resulted in low crude oil prices. 

She also explained that countries like South Africa, that recorded a 50 percent contraction in the second quarter of the year, will also record negative growth in the third quarter.

“Let me remind us that before the impact of COVID-19, the Nigerian economy was experiencing sustained growth, which had been improving quarter by quarter until the second quarter of 2020 when the impact of the COVID-19 was felt,” she said.

“Nigeria is not alone in this, but I will say that Nigeria has outperformed all of these economies in terms of the record of a negative growth.

While the economy has entered into recession in the third quarter, the trend of the growth suggests that this will be a short-lived recession, and indeed by the fourth or, at worst, the first quarter of 2021, the country will exit recession.

“Our expectation of a quick exit, which will be historically fast, is anchored on the several complementary fiscal, real sector and monetary interventions that have been proactively introduced by government to forestall a far worse decline of the economy and alleviate the negative consequences of the pandemic.”