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Nigerian economy should grow by 8%, not 1.9% — CSO

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A Civil Society Organisation (CSO), BudgIT says the Nigerian economy needs to grow by eight per cent and not 1.9 per cent in order to lift citizens out of poverty.

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Mr Atiku Samuel, Head Research, BudgIT said this in an interview with NAN in Abuja on Sunday.

Samuel was reacting to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) prediction that Nigeria’s economy was expected to grow by 1.9 per cent in 2018.

The IMF had on Thursday, at the presentation of the “Fall 2018 Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa’’, said that fewer disruptions in oil production and some pick-up in the non-oil economy was responsible for the predicted growth.

“The recovery is expected to contribute about 0.7 percentage points to the region’s average growth in 2018 and lift activity in Nigeria’s trading partners through stronger remittances, financial spill overs and import demand.’’

Samuel, however, said that Nigeria should not depend solely on oil as it could be detrimental since oil production and price may take a downward slope at any given time.

“In an ideal situation, with the dynamism of the oil sector, including stable production, it should not tilt the economy in anyway, but then the Nigerian economy is relatively complex.

“All other sectors depend on the oil economy in one way or the other.

“For instance, Nigeria needs dollars from the oil sector to procure fertilizers and other agricultural input and if oil production falls, income from the oil sector falls and that typically cascades into a bigger problem.’’

According to him, Nigeria urgently needs to rework the structure of the economy and invest more in the people.

“We cannot achieve growth with the skill gap, the flat capital market and conservative banking system we presently have.

“We need to rework our financial system and come up with an agenda for the Naira and invest more in education and health.’’

NAN reports that the IMF had also said that meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) would require stronger growth and more financing.

It also said that policies that would enhance creation of about 20 million new jobs yearly in the region to meet the demand was needed as meeting the SDGs by 2030 was dependent on that. (NAN)

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