Economic recessions increase costs, risk, stress, uncertainty, and business failures while decreasing the availability of employment. Individuals who seek to become self-employed in recessionary times, whether out of need or for opportunity reasons, face difficult and unique circumstances. The paper examines the effect of economic recession on entrepreneurship opportunities in Nigeria. The paper use ordinary least square regression to model the effects of economic recession on the probability of individuals engaging in necessity or opportunity entrepreneurial activities both before the recession and during the recession. Key findings indicate that before the recession, entrepreneurs were more likely to engage in opportunity-driven entrepreneurial activities. Positive employment growth rates before the recession also increased the probability entrepreneurs engaging in necessity and opportunity entrepreneurship. The recession marked a shift in the motivation of entrepreneurs to become self-employed and a clear decline in opportunity entrepreneurship and an increase in necessity entrepreneurship. The paper conclude that economic recession has a significant effect on opportunity and necessity entrepreneurs in Nigeria and recommend among others that promoting entrepreneurship should be high in the agenda of governments seeking growth and policy makers should be more precise in their macro and micro policy directions to target their efforts in promoting entrepreneurship as an effective instrument in defeating recession in the country.