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

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The World Bank has said Nigeria and 39 other countries may not return to pre-COVID-19 gross domestic product per capita levels, even by 2026, despite projected economic growth rates.

He said so in a new report titled “From Double Shock to Double Recovery – Implications and Options for Health Financing in the Era of COVID-19”.

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

“COVID-19 has caused a deep economic contraction in 2020. On average, the country’s GDP per capita is estimated to have contracted by 5.9%,” he said.

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

“The global economy is expected to rebound strongly from 2021 – the recovery may well lead to the strongest growth seen immediately after a recession in the past 80 years,” the report said.

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

He added that projected economic growth rates would be insufficient for 40 countries to return to pre-COVID-19 GDP per capita levels, 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 states: “The variation between countries observed in 2020 extends to countries’ prospects for a subsequent return to economic growth.

“Most worryingly, projected economic growth rates will be insufficient to allow 40 countries to return to pre-COVID-19 GDP per capita levels, even by 2026. This group consists of four LICs, 15 LMIC, 10 UMIC and 11 HIC. ”

Nigeria has been classified in LMICs along 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 a drop of around 20% in general government revenue per capita due to the pandemic.

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