“Nigeria will lose a decade of economic growth by the end of 2021” – Workd Bank

A new report by the World Bank says a full decade of economic growth in Nigeria is likely to be lost by the end of 2021.⁣

The international financial institution said in its bi-annual Nigeria Development Update (NDU) report series that the country’s gross domestic product is likely to approach its 2010 level by the end of the year.⁣

The report noted that the economy is expected to grow by 1.8% in 2021, but could stand at just 1.1% if the government fails to sustain recent macroeconomic and structural reforms.⁣

Despite Nigeria experiencing its deepest recession in four decades in 2020, the World Bank said the government’s response saved the situation from becoming worse.⁣

The Bank commended the government’s efforts to harmonize exchange rates, eliminate gasoline subsidies, adjust electricity tariffs to more cost-reflective levels, and cut non-essential spending.⁣
The President Muhammadu Buhari-led government was also commended for redirecting resources to the COVID-19 response, and enhancing debt management, and increased public-sector transparency, especially for oil and gas operations.⁣

“By creating additional fiscal space and maximizing the impact of the government’s limited resources, these measures were critical in protecting the economy against a much deeper recession and in laying the foundation for earlier recovery,” the report’s overview noted.⁣
The Bank, however, also noted that several critical reforms are incomplete, and the government’s failure to sustain macroeconomic and structural reforms will undermine the country’s recovery.⁣

Despite the government’s exaggerated declarations of success, Nigeria is dealing on multiple fronts with rising poverty, escalating unemployment rate, worrying inflation rates, and widespread insecurity hampering the economy.⁣

The NDU report noted that the high inflation rates are worsening poverty and depressing economic activity.⁣

Rising prices alone may have pushed an estimated seven million Nigerians into poverty in 2020, the report said.

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