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Nigeria’s Economy to Grow by 1.8 Percent in 2021; World Bank Raises Growth Projection from 1.1 Percent

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The World Bank has raised Nigeria’s growth projection from 1.1 percent previously estimated earlier in the year to 1.8 percent for 2021.

The Washington-based organisation disclosed this in its June 2021 Global Economic Prospect released on Tuesday.

The institution also predicted that growth in Africa’s largest economy will hit 2.1 percent in 2022, up from the 1.8 percent it had projected in its January report.

This is despite the economy growing by just 0.51 percent in the first quarter of 2021 and 0.11 percent in the final quarter of 2020.

The multilateral institution hinged its new growth prediction on rising crude oil prices and the expectation that it will remain so in the near term. Also, the ongoing government structural reforms and flexible exchange rates being implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria were some of the factors highlighted for the increase in growth expectations.

The World Bank said, “Growth in Nigeria is expected to resume at 1.8 percent in 2021 and edge up to 2.1 percent next year, assuming higher oil prices, structural oil sector reforms, and market-based flexible exchange rate management.”

In Sub-Saharan Africa, the bank said growth has started rebounding after shrinking by 2.4 percent in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It said “The pandemic has contributed to wider budget deficits and a spike in government debt, heightening the risk of debt distress in some countries. Activity in the three largest economies—Angola, Nigeria, and South Africa— has partially recovered.

“Many industrial and agricultural commodity exporting countries experienced deep contractions last year. In tourism reliant countries, international arrivals have been at a near-halt, and tourism is likely to remain slow until wider vaccination permits safe reopening to international travel.

“Despite improvement, COVID-19 has continued to have adverse impacts on health, schooling, investment, and economic growth,” it stated.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Economy

World Bank Says Nigeria’s Economy is Static, Per Capita Income Unchanged in 40 Years

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The World Bank claims Nigeria’s per capita income has been static since 1981, which is a total of 40 years.

The Country Director of the World Bank, Shubham Chaudhuri said this at the breakout panel session of the 27th Nigerian Economic Summit on Lightning Nigeria: Solution framework for power recovery held in Abuja.

He further went on to advise Nigeria’s economic managers to quickly assemble potent strategies to harness the robust potential of the country.

He went on to say that the medium-term development plan for 2021-2025 is set on the development agenda for sustainable growth driven by new and emerging sectors. He claimed about three million Nigerians come of working age yearly, but surveys have shown that they aspire to go abroad to earn a better standard of living.

Per Capita Income is an Economic indicator that indicates the average income earned per person in a country in a specified year. It is calculated by dividing the country’s total income by its total population. In 1981, according to World Bank data, Nigeria’s per capita income was $2,180.2 and per capita income was $2,097 in 2020, meaning there has been no significant change in four decades.

 Earlier in the session, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed called for a paradigm shift in running the country’s economy through comprehensive and targeted reforms, a reorientation of national values, and a radical shift in attitudes to taxation and public financial management. 

She said, “This is consistent with the focus of this administration on targeted investment in critical infrastructure and social development.

 The Nigerian Economic Summit is the flagship event of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and it is organized in collaboration with the National Planning Commission (NPC). The Nigerian economic summit has consistently focused on job creation, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) growth, competitiveness, dismantling the pillars of corruption, encouraging sustainable growth and development, and aligning home-grown long-term agenda with the UN sustainable development goals. The 27th Nigerian Economic Summit has the theme Securing our Future: The Fierce Urgency of Now.

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Economy

East African Countries to Discuss Economic Recovery and Investments Promotion this Week in Kigali

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More than 100 decision-makers and economic stakeholders will gather in Kigali this week to discuss the road to social and economic recovery and how to attract investments in East Africa. The meeting known as the 25th session of the Intergovernmental Committee of Senior Officials and Experts (ICSOE), will take place from 27 to 29 October 2021. 

The ICSOE is the annual gathering of the office for Eastern Africa of the UN Economic Commission in Africa (UNECA) organised in collaboration with the Rwanda Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. The theme of this year’s meeting is: “Strengthening resilience for a strong recovery and attracting investments to foster economic diversification and long-term growth in Eastern Africa”.

Dr Mama Keita, Director of UNECA in Eastern Africa said that the Covid-19 pandemic has weakened the economic conditions of all countries in the region. She stressed that the ICSOE meeting will provide a platform for various stakeholders from governments to have a conversation with experts and private sectors on the needed economic recovery and on how to re-ignite the engines of trade and investment.

Dr Uzziel Ndagijimana, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning said that this meeting is timely and significant. “This is the time for Rwanda to discuss with other countries of the region the potentials and the ability to rise and be responsive to the socio-economic challenges, exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis.

According to Ms Keita, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is undoubtedly critical to support the recovery from the severe adverse impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, increase the economic multiplier in the region and will help countries to build back better, grow their economies and create jobs that foster inclusive growth.

The participants at the meeting will discuss thematic issues such as deepening Regional Value Chains, environment for investment Opportunities and Interlinkages between peace, security and development.

The subregional office for East Africa of UNECA serves 14 countries: Burundi, Comores, RD Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

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Economy

Federal Government to End Petrol Subsidy by June 2022 as World Bank Condemns N2.9 Trillion Funding

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The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said the Federal Government had made plans for petrol subsidy only up to the end of June 2022.

The minister disclosed this while speaking at the 27th National Economic summit on Monday in Abuja.

She said the Federal Government only factored in subsidy for the first half of the year. In the second half of the year, the Government is looking at complete deregulation of the sector, thereby saving foreign exchange and potentially earning more from the oil and gas industry.

This comes as the World Bank decried the continued spending by the Nigerian Government on petrol subsidy, which it said is on track to gobble up to N2.9 trillion this year. The Country Director for the World Bank in Nigeria, Shubham Chauduri speaking at the National Economic Summit, said the country could channel money being spent on petrol subsidy to primary healthcare, basic education, infrastructure such as rural roads, and industries.

He went on to say that Nigeria is on track to spend N2.9 trillion on Petrol subsidy this year, more that is spent on health in the country, and likened Nigeria to a malnourished individual needing urgent treatment.

He said “I think the urgency of doing something now is because time is going in terms of retaining the hope of young Nigerians in the future and potential of Nigeria. The kinds of things that could be done right away – the petrol subsidy; yes, I hear that six months from now, perhaps with the Petroleum Industry Act coming into effect, it might go away. But the fact is, can Nigeria afford to wait six months? There is a choice being made; N2.9 Trillion to Petrol subsidy which is depriving states of much-needed revenue to invest in basic services.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the President Economic Advisory Council, Prof Doyin Salami, said he had argued for a very long time that petrol subsidy needs to go.

A petrol subsidy is a program in which the Government or any other organization pays for a portion of gasoline, heating oil, or some other fuel. Nigeria is the biggest producer of crude oil in Africa but still needs to import Petrol, this situation made subsidizing petrol necessary as the exchange rate in which it is being imported puts the price out of the reach of the average consumer.

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