Wednesday 8 October 2014

World Bank predicts over 5% GDP growth for Nigeria 2015/16

The World Bank has declared that despite weaker than expected global growth and stable or declining commodity prices, African economies, including Nigeria’s, have continued to expand at a moderately rapid pace, with regional gross domestic product (GDP) projected to strengthen to 5.2 per cent yearly between 2015 and 2016 from 4.6 per cent in 2014.

According to the bank’s ‘New Africa’s Pulse’—a twice yearly analysis of the issues shaping Africa’s economic prospects - significant investment in infrastructure, increased agricultural production and expanding services in African retail , telecoms, transportation, and finance, are expected to continue to boost growth in the region.

This economic reading also agrees with the verdict of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which declared that despit pite the grave security challenges in Nigeria, the economy of the nation remains resilient. The IMF gave this verdict in its latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) as at October 2014 titled: “Legacies, Clouds, Uncertainties,” released tuesday.

The IMF also stated that recent revisions to national accounts data by Nigeria shows that the economy is more diversified than previously thought.

The IMF also acknowledged the accretion of Nigeria’s external reserves.

The pick-up in growth, the World Bank said, is expected to occur in a context of lower commodity prices and lower foreign direct investment as a result of subdued global economic conditions.

“Overall, Africa is forecast to remain one of the world’s three fastest growing regions and to maintain its impressive 20 years of continuous expansion,” said the World Bank’s Chief Economist for Africa, Francisco Ferreira.

He noted that downside risks that require enhanced preparedness include fiscal deficits in a number of countries; economic fallouts from the activities of terrorist groups such as Boko Haram and Al Shabaab, and most urgently, the onslaught of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

A world Bank study of the likely economic impact of Ebola, released last month, suggested that if the virus continues to spread in the three worst affected countries—Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea, its economic impact could grow eight-fold, dealing a potentially catastrophic blow to the already fragile nations.

Credit: Ndubuisi Francis/Obinna Chima/ThisDay

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