Nigeria Seeking Ways, Means to Bolster Flagging Economy

Although Nigeria is Africa's leading economy, it has come through a bruising 2020. The country slipped quietly into a recession, mainly due to the falling oil price and the lack of global demand as Covid-19 took its toll worldwide. Not so quietly though, were protests at the decision by the government to hike the prices of basic foodstuffs, petrol and electricity, which is erratic at the best of times. All this once again highlighted the need to walk the talk and diversify the economy. The government has been looking at areas like agriculture - a sector that could absorb more unemployed youth and at the same time provide food for over 200 million Nigerians.The other area that could assist in economic growth is boosting transport infrastructure. "The linking of different transportation infrastructure like rail to seaports and roads will quickly drive the economy upwards," Transport Minister Rotimi Amaechi has said. In October 2020, the inflation rate was at 14,23%. The International Monetary Fund has suggested an increase in VAT to 15% by 2025 and for the devaluing of the Naira currency. It also emphasised the need for urgent policy adjustment and more fundamental reforms to sustain macroeconomic stability and lift growth and employment.

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