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Nigeria's economy set to grow 2% in 2021 - central bank governor - REUTERS

NOVEMBER 27, 2020

Adds comments on inflation, the naira

LAGOS, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Nigeria's economy is set to grow by roughly 2% in 2021, its central bank governor said on Friday.

Africa's largest economy slipped into recession in the third quarter, hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and low oil prices, but central bank governor Godwin Emefiele said he expected it to be short-lived. 

Emefiele said he also expected double-digit inflation to "moderate" by the first half of 2021, and stood behind the bank's foreign exchange policy, which he said was allowing a gradual liberalisation of the naira and was "in line with best practices in other countries".

He also said there was "no need to worry" about Nigeria's foreign reserves.

The naira has weakened by 28% this year, but analysts said Emefiele's dismissal of the black-market rate raised doubts about Nigeria's commitment to reforms and dented hopes for a shift towards a market-driven exchange rate.

On Friday, the naira hit a record low of 600 to the dollar on the futures market for five-year settlement, underlining the severity of a lack of liquidity on the spot market.

(Reporting By Libby George; Editing by Kevin Liffey)


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