Reactions has continued to trail the new economic rating of Nigeria by the World Bank, which moved the country from a low income nation to a medium income one. The bank had hinged Nigeria’s new rating on the reduction of poverty rate per capita in the country from 64.2 per cent to 62.6 per cent, as well as improvement in revenue accretion.
According to the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Ms. Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, the decision on Nigeria’s rating was taken at last month’s Spring meeting of the World Bank/International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington.
The improvement in rating gives the country the privilege of borrowing from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Prof. Ndubuisi Nwokoma, Head, Department of Economics, University of Lagos, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in an interview in Lagos that the economic rating was more of a perception. He said that some other economic bodies would readily challenge the rating by even putting the country among the least developed countries.
According to him, the World Bank might have hinged their rating on a few economic developments in the country which were not enough to show a true reflection of the current status of the country.
“They should have looked at a lot of factors before passing such judgment because such ranking does not represent the interest of the common man in the street. We are just like a woman who has beautified herself for a first date, looking very attractive and gorgeous, but if you follow her home, she might not be what she is trying to portray outside.
“The same goes for a beautiful living room with a dirty toilet and having said this, I feel such rating could encourage us in doing better. The issue about this whole rating is based on our growth rate and I feel it is a paradox because we are yet to see the impact on the average Nigerian,” he said.
Dr Adebayo Adedokun, a Senior Lecturer in the Department, also agreed that the new rating was a good omen but argued that there was need for an inclusive growth. He described the rating as an additional challenge for the managers of the country’s economy to be more proactive.
According to him, the managers should ensure that the improvement has a trickling effect on the masses. He said that the country had a growing economy and a growing rate of poverty which makes the entire development a paradox.
“In most medium-rating countries, the quality of life of the people is usually enhanced but that seems not to be the case with us here in this part of the divide. We are happy with this rating though, because it simply shows that managers of the economy’s fundamentals are really doing a good job. But I still feel it is not inclusive because there is no employment and infrastructure upon which we can sustain this rating,” he added. Infrastructure deficit across