Monday, January 28, 2019 03:35 PM / NESG
The Nigerian economy has come a long way since the economic recession in 2016. Real GDP growth averaged 1.8% in the first three quarters of 2018; inflation averaged 12.2% in the year, exchange rate stabilised while external reserves improved due to a relatively high crude oil price. Despite these improvements, unemployment rate peaked at 23.1% as at the third quarter of 2018, poverty rate remained high at 49.1% with poor education and health outcomes.
The disconnect or weak linkage between economic growth and socio-economic development, both in the pre and post 2016 recession era, suggests that Nigeria’s approach to development has to change and needs to be more radical.
In our Macroeconomic Outlook for 2018, we proposed an inclusive growth framework for Nigeria that provided insights into how the country can address the problems of socio-economic exclusion. The framework highlighted the need for Nigeria to lay emphasis on achieving broad-based and sector-wide economic growth while implementing social inclusion and governance reforms.
Furthering the conversation on inclusive growth, the Macroeconomic Outlook for 2019 examines the critical role of government in delivering broad-based economic growth which is essential in opening up critical sectors for investments and enabling them to create jobs. The report identifies crucial social inclusion reforms that the Nigerian government, at different levels, must implement to guarantee improvement in social outcomes.
The year 2019, being an election year, will come with uncertainties, security concerns and new challenges for policy makers. But it also presents an opportunity for the Nigerian government to make the radical changes and reforms that will address the pertinent economic challenges facing the country.
Experiences from countries show that economic progress or backwardness is not a coincidence but rather, it is as a result of consistent and deliberate actions or inactions of decision makers in the economy. In 2019 and beyond, the Government of Nigeria at all levels must exercise the political will to drive the country’s development process.
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