22 May 2018

Nigeria: IMF Forecasts 3.4% Growth for Nigeria

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted an average 3.4 per cent economic growth for Nigeria in 2018, from 2.8 per cent in 2017.

IMF's country Senior Representative Amine Mati made the forecast as he unveiled the Spring 2018 Issue of the sub-Saharan African Regional Economic Outlook (REO) in Lagos on Monday evening.

The theme of the presentation was; Domestic Revenue Mobilisation and Private Investment.

Mr Mati said about two-thirds of the sub-Saharan countries could register similar growth, riding on the back of stronger global performance, higher commodity prices and improved capital market access.

Price decline

The IMF official, however, said the average growth in the region was expected to decline below 4 per cent over the medium term.

"Across countries, economic outcomes are far from uniform. Oil exporters are still dealing with the legacy of the largest real price decline since 1970 with growth well below past trends and rising debts."

Mr Mati said there was a need for prudent fiscal policy to rein in public debt and lower inflation.

He advised the sub-Saharan countries to also continue to pursue structural reforms to reduce market distortions and increase private investment.

Mr Mati further said that would strengthen revenue mobilisation to give governments the means to invest in physical and human capital as well as social infrastructure.

The Director General of the Nigeria Debt Management Office (DMO), Mrs Patience Oniha, said the decline in interest rate in the sub-Saharan countries meant that there was about $800 million in the market for the private sector to invest in.

"You will also notice that we are retiring some of the treasury bills as they mature," Mrs Oniha said.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), Mr Laoye Jaiyeola, said there was an increase in the micro-economic stability as the inflation rate continued to decline.

That, Mr Jaiyeola said, had resulted in a drop in interest rate which in turn would have a positive impact on private sector activities.

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