Economic and financial experts say current macroeconomic indices indicate that Nigeria’s economy will rebound in 2021. The experts, who spoke at a webinar organised by Nigeria British Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, stated that the continued growth of Nigeria’s economy in 2021 and beyond would be determined by the continued investment in infrastructure, education and healthcare.
Speaking at the webinar, the Chief Consultant, B. Adedipe Associates Limited, Dr Biodun Adedipe, said the performance of the stock market was one of the leading economic indicators of economic recovery because stock market prices were forward-looking rather than based on what happened in the past. Adedipe said government policies that would encourage more production and export than consumption and importation should be introduced.
He said strengthening Nigeria’s export capacity would create wealth for the country and employment for the people. While noting that the manufacturing sector was affected by the pandemic, he said the sector rebounded in the third quarter, indicating a new potential for job creation. He said, “Manufacturing has been impacted by COVID-19 but expanding steadily as shown in the November Purchasing Manager’s Index. This sector holds the key to wealth and job creation.
A Senior Economist at FBNQuest Merchant Bank, Ms Chinwe Egwim, projected modest GDP growth of 0.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2021, which would rise to pre-COVID-19 level of 1.9 per cent by the end of next year. She said the easing of the Monetary Policy Rate by 100 basis points to 11.5 per cent was a textbook response and not a perfect solution. She estimated that inflation would accelerate to 13.7 per cent year-on year in the coming month.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer, FMDQ Group, Bola Onadeko, said the Nigerian economy had grown bigger in the last six years considering the macroeconomic indices. He, however, noted that inflation seemed not to have changed as it was 13.76 per cent 50 years ago compared to 14.23 per cent reported by the National Bureau of Statistics for the third quarter.
According to him, employment rate of 27.10 per cent was not a true reflection of the state of unemployment in the country saying it could be higher. He said the social scorecard represented the pulse of the economy, adding that the prosperity of the people should matter to everyone. From 2010 to 2019, he said although a World Bank report indicated that access to healthcare had improved, the quality of healthcare in Nigeria was still poor.
He said, “Population management is very controversial and we need to look at the politics of it. In terms of the economy, agriculture is major; we need to improve on our manufacturing base; and infrastructure is very key. Consumer credit should be in place. We need to ensure access for private companies to debt capital. That is one thing has been denied private companies.” He called for improvement in the security of food, lives and property as well as housing regulation in Nigeria in order to manage the burgeoning population of the country.