Nigeria on Steady Economic Growth, CBN Gov Assures

By Tony Obiechina, Abuja

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, said on Monday that Nigeria’s economic outlook remained positives despite the current global uncertainties.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), recently reviewed the global economic growth from 3.3 per cent to three per cent.

Emefiele gave the assurance in his keynote address at the ongoing  3-day African Economic Congress held in Abuja.

The CBN governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Financial Systems Stability, Aisha Ahmad, described Nigeria’s economy as resilient.

Emefiele said the apex bank was implementing various initiatives that had put the economy on the path of sustainable development, adding that “there is no cause for panic.”

He said, “because  of  our  unconventional  tools,  we  have recorded  spectacular  improvements  in  domestic production  of  most  of  the  targeted  items. Local manufacturers are consequently reporting major boosts to their revenue and profit.

“The  banking  sector  also  continues  to  be  resilient,  with positive  indications  for  financial  stability, given progressive  improvement  in  key  financial  soundness indicators as well as significant credit expansion to critical sectors of the economy recorded over the last few months.

According to him, latest estimates from the World Bank suggest that four in ten Africans, or over 416 million people, lived below $1.90 per day in 2015, adding that by 2030, nearly 9 in 10 extremely poor people will live in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

“These dire statistics are further compounded by the region’s population growth (which is estimated to double in 2050 by the United Nations), rising public debt, poor infrastructure, growing regional tensions, gender gaps, insecurity, income inequality, low trade volumes and other country specific factors which keep the African continent from reaching its full economic potential”, the governor noted.

Emefiele pointed out that despite these challenges, ” Africa’s opportunities remain vast. In 2013, Africa was the world’s fastest-growing continent at 5.6 percent a year and currently the second based on 2018 African Development Bank estimates. 

“Four of the fastest growing economies in the world in 2019 are in Africa: Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Rwanda. The continent’s collective GDP is estimated to stand at $2.6 trillion and consumer spending at $1.4trillion”, he posited.

” Let me say categorically that while we should not trivialize the global headwinds, there is no cause for panic. 

“What the continent requires is strong policy coordination and cooperation targeted at more sustainable approaches to economic management to support domestic production, investment and diversify the continent’s economies away from over reliance on commodity exports. Whilst much has been done, there is work yet left undone”, he added.

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