- Nigeria’s GDP Growth’ll be Below 2% in 2018 – W’Bank
The World Bank has projected a slow growth in Nigeria’s economy in 2018 in its latest report.
According to the report on Nigeria’s bi-annual Economic Update on Wednesday, the country’s Gross Domestic Product growth is expected to hover slightly below two per cent in 2018, largely driven by non-oil industry and services.
In the report, it also stated that Nigeria’s investment in human capital compared to other nations remained very low.
Titled ‘Investing in Human Capital for Nigeria’s Future’, the report noted that, Nigeria, like many other countries, had underinvested in human capital, which was quite low compared to other countries, though it did not provide any statistics.
In recognition that bold actions are required to address years of underinvestment in human capital, the government of Nigeria has established a Human Capital Working Group to develop a unified vision for human capital development and drive implementation of interventions within the ‘Investing in our People’ pillar of the Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, the bank said.
The statement quoted World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Rachid Benmessaoud, to have said, “The World Bank welcomed the Government of Nigeria’s recent ‘Call for Action’, requesting all stakeholders to join the Government’s effort to address Nigeria’s alarming human capital outcomes.
“As a member of the Human Capital Working Group, the World Bank stands ready to support the Government of Nigeria in its bold steps to improve the lives of its citizens.”
The bank said that Nigeria’s emergence from recession remained sluggish, adding that sectoral growth patterns were unstable.
“In the second quarter of 2018, the oil sector contracted by four per cent, the usually-resilient agricultural growth slowed significantly to 1.2 per cent, impacted by the security challenges in the Northeast and Middle Belt regions,” the World Bank said.
“The non-oil industry and services, which constitute over half of Nigeria’s economy, picked-up to 3.1 per cent and 2.1 per cent respectively, driven by growth in construction, transport, and ICT.”
The Update reported that the Nigerian economy remained dependent on the small oil sector (under 10 per cent of GDP) for the bulk of its fiscal revenues and foreign exchange earnings.
The statement said, “Although oil revenues are increasing with recovering oil prices in 2018, distributions from oil revenues to the three tiers of government are constrained by the petrol subsidy and other prior deductions.
“In the first half of 2018, the current account surplus surpassed four per cent of GDP, driven largely by higher oil exports, while non-oil revenue collections have come in lower than envisaged.
“Despite sustained efforts to improve the business environment, Foreign Direct Investment inflows remain stagnated.”
According to the Update, the fiscal deficit will likely widen in 2018 due to increased spending and sustained revenue shortfalls.
It added that the current account balance was expected to remain positive, benefitting from the rising value of oil exports and limited growth of non-oil imports.
The capital account faces significant uncertainty, as external portfolio investors may exercise further caution, especially during the pre-election period, despite rising domestic yields, it added.
Given the clearly challenging economic backdrop, the Update suggested certain key policy reforms would be important to support macroeconomic resilience for Nigeria.
These include, among others, the acceleration of the economic diversification agenda, the reform of petrol subsidy regime to improve the fiscal space, improvements in the domestic revenue (particularly non-oil) to reduce volatilities in government revenues and increased investment in human capital for a truly sustainable growth.
World Bank Calls on Nigeria to Impose Special Taxes on Alcohol and Tobacco
The World Bank Group has made a call to the Federal Government of Nigeria, urging the government to impose special taxes on alcohol, cigarettes and beverages that are highly sweetened in order to improve primary healthcare conditions in the country.
Shubham Chaudhuri, who is the Country Director for Nigeria in the World Bank Group, said that an improvement in healthcare in Nigeria will come by taxing the things that are “killing us.” He said that the economic rationale for the action is quite strong if lives are to be saved and a healthier Nigeria achieved.
Chaudhuri made the call on Friday, at a special National Council on Health meeting which was organized by the Federal Ministry of Health in Abuja. Chaudhuri stated that placing special taxes on tobacco, sweetened beverages and alcohol would reduce the health risks which come with their consumption and expand the fiscal space for universal health coverage after COVID 19.
The country director also said that investing in stronger health systems for all would make significant contributions to the fight against inequality and the rising poverty situation in the country. He went on to add that increasing health tax would provide an extra advantage of reducing healthcare cost in the future, by hindering the growth of the diseases which are caused by tobacco, alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages.
The representative of the WHO in Nigeria, Dr Walter Mulombo said that he could confirm the large health needs of Nigerians, as well as the efforts being made to meet those needs. He said this was based on the fact that he had been to over half of Nigeria’s states in less than two years of being in the country.
Mulombo then noted that although the coronavirus exposed weaknesses in the global economy (not excluding health), it could be considered as a unique opportunity for a thorough examination of existing resources and mechanisms to prepare for a more resilient future.
Nigeria’s VAT Revenue Falls to N500 Billion in Q3 2021, Manufacturing Sector in the Lead
In the third quarter of 2021, Nigeria generated a total sum of N500.49 billion as value-added tax which represents a 2.3% decline when compared to the N512.25 billion recorded in the second quarter of the year.
This is as seen in the VAT report which was recently released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The report revealed that the manufacturing sector was in the lead as it remitted a total of N91.2 billion, representing about 30% of the total local non-import value added taxes in that period.
In spite of the quarter-on-quarter decline of VAT collections in the reviewed period, it grew by a further 17.8% when compared to N424.7 billion generated in the same period of the previous year. The report also shows that an amount of N1.5 trillion has been generated from value added taxes from January 2021 to September 2021.
That is 40.2% higher than the N1.08 trillion recorded in the same period of 2020, and 72.3% higher than what was recorded in the same period of 2019.
To break it down, the Value Added Tax collected in the first, second and third quarter of 2021 was recorded at N496.39 billion, N512.25 billion and N500.49 billion respectively. It is higher than the corresponding figures of 2020, which sat at N324.58 billion, N327.20 billion and N424.71 billion for the first, second and third quarters respectively.
In the third quarter of 2021, the Manufacturing activity accounted for the largest share of total revenue collected across sectors, with a huge 30.87% (N91.2 billion) coming from that sector. The Information & Communication sector came in second with 20.05% (N53.9 billion) contributed, while the Mining & Quarrying sector came in third with 9.62% (N28.4 billion).
Nigeria has continued to ramp up its efforts to increase revenue from non-oil sectors by increasing its tax collection rates, which has recorded largely significant growth since the federal government increased the VAT rate from 5% to 7.5% in the 2019 Finance Act, which was signed and made effective in 2020.
Nigeria’s Economy to Close 2021 at 2.5% Growth Rate
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has predicted that the Nigerian economy will close its growth rate for the year at 2.5%.
This was said by the President of the LCCI, Toki Mabogunje at the 133rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the chamber in Lagos on Thursday, as reported by the News Agency of Nigeria.
The LCCI leader advised that Nigeria’s monetary and fiscal aspects of the economy should encourage policies that enhance growth and build confidence which would invigorate private capital flows to the economy to achieve the growth. She also encouraged a medium-term recovery plan which is anchored on local productivity, attracting private investment, developing physical and soft infrastructure, and ease of business.
Mabogunje disclosed that Nigeria’s inflation would be maintained at its double digit level within the short to medium term, due to food supply shocks, foreign exchange illiquidity, higher energy cost, social unrest in the Northern region, possible removal of fuel subsidy, and insecurity. She stated that these structural factors will keep on mounting pressure on domestic consumer prices.
She also added that in spite of the non-oil economy’s growth by 5.4%, insecurity problems in some areas of the country may lead to shrinking in production and a disruption of the supply chain. She states that the important drivers of the non-oil sector growth were finance and insurance holding 23.2%, transport and storage 20.6%, trade carrying 11.9% and telecommunications 10.9%.
Others include manufacturing, construction, real estate and agriculture with 4.3%, 4.1%, 2.3% and 1.2% respectively throughout the year.
Speaking on the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Monetary Policy Committee’s decision to retain policy parameters, she mentioned that although the apex bank has been keen to extend credit to the real economy as a way of supporting it, it is a fact that the provision of credit recently has proven ineffective in improving output growth and stabilizing consumer prices.
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