Nigeria to maintain 7.4% growth rate till next year – IMF

By Yemi Kolapo, Washington, DC   Friday, 8 Oct 2010


Nigeria will sustain a 7.4 per cent output growth from 2010 till 2011, the International Monetary Fund has said.

The IMF said in its World Economic and Financial Survey made available to journalists on Thursday in Washington DC, that Nigeria’s output (real Gross Domestic Product) growth was expected to accelerate from seven per cent in 2009 to 7.4 per cent in 2010 and 2011.

The Fund’s growth forecast for Nigeria is stronger than sub-Saharan Africa’s estimates, which it put at five per cent and 5.5 per cent for 2010 and 2011, respectively.

It said continued strong growth in Nigeria’s non-oil sector was being supported by increasing oil production, adding that this was as a result of reduced instability in the Niger Delta region.

According to the Bretton Woods institution, the recovery in global demand and the strengthening of oil prices are supporting growth in Africa’s oil-exporting economies.

The Fund, however, predicted slower growth for Nigeria, compared to the Republic of Congo, Botswana and Ethiopia, which it said would grow at 10.6 per cent, 8.4 per cent and eight per cent, respectively, in 2010. Botswana will recover from a negative output growth of -3.7 per cent in 2009, according to the IMF.

It said that while Nigeria was expected to maintain its 7.4 per cent growth rate in 2011, forecast for the Republic of Congo and Botswana would drop to 8.7 per cent and 4.8 per cent, respectively, in 2011.

The IMF noted, “The primary risk to the outlook for the region is a faltering global recovery. But different economies in the region have different exposures. For the oil-exporting economies, spillovers from a global slowdown will be manifested primarily through its impact on oil prices.”

The Managing Director, IMF, Mr. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, also said during a pre-World Bank/IMF meetings press briefing on Thursday that the ongoing global economic recovery was still very fragile, “partly because it is uneven.”

He said, “When you look at sub-Saharan Africa, where the rate of growth is going back to about five per cent, contrary to what was going on in the past, growth is now coming back at the same rate as other parts of the world.”

The main concern for economies could, however, be that growth in Europe, being a part of the global economy, was still sluggish, he said.

“As a big part of the global economy, if (recovery) doesn’t go very fast, it has an influence on the rest,” Strauss-Kahn noted.

Meanwhile, the World Bank said that 3.4 million beneficiaries from Nigeria’s agricultural sector were able to increase their income by about 63 per cent between 2004 and 2009, through its International Development Association’s funding.

It said that 385,000 borrowers and 1.2 million customers were also able to access medium, small and micro-enterprise facilities.


Source: The Punch

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