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External, domestic risks threaten Nigeria’s economic growth — W/Bank

World Bank
World Bank

The World Bank has said though Nigeria’s economy is projected to grow up to 2021, the growths are vulnerable to internal and external shocks.

The economy is recovering gradually from the 2016 recession, with growth projected to pick up from 1.9 percent in 2018 to 2 percent in 2019 and 2.1 percent in 2020-21, World Bank’s Nigeria Economic Update (NEU) Report said.

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“This growth outlook is vulnerable to external and domestic risks, including geopolitical and trade tensions that may affect inflows of private investment. With population growth (estimated at 2.6 percent) outpacing economic growth, per capita incomes are falling,” the bank noted in the report released yesterday.

The report titled “Jumpstarting Inclusive Growth: Unlocking the Productive Potential of Nigeria’s People and Resource Endowments”, said Nigeria has the opportunity to advance reforms to mitigate these risks amid growing public demand for greater economic opportunities.

Nigeria created about 450,000 new jobs in 2018, partially offsetting the loss of 700,000 jobs in the previous year, it held. “Nigeria’s labour force is growing rapidly, and in 2018 over 5 million Nigerians entered the labour market. This resulted in 4.9m more unemployed people in the last year.”

Nigeria also improved its ranking in the Doing Business index from 169th in the world in 2017 to 131st in 2019. Other efforts include the recent launch of the Central Portal for Government Services, which aims to increase transparency and also support the development of the digital economy.

In the trade area, the report said, the government signed the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement in July 2019, a signal that Nigeria is now more willing to become a driver of continental growth and integration.

“Reforms would help achieve faster, more inclusive, and sustained growth with jobs”, said Shubham Chaudhuri, The World Bank Country Director for Nigeria.

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