Ever since the country officially plunged into its worst recession in over two decades last year, Nigerians have been counting down the days the economic hardship will end.
A recession is a period of temporary economic decline during which trade and industrial activities are reduced, generally identified by a fall in GDP in two successive quarters.
In its January 2017 Global Economic Prospects report released on Wednesday, the World Bank forecast that Nigeria will get out of recession and grow its GDP by one per cent this year. It also said the global economy will accelerate moderately to 2.7 per cent in 2017.
According to the report, “Sub-Saharan African growth is expected to pick up modestly to 2.9 per cent in 2017 as the region continues to adjust to lower commodity prices.
“Growth in South Africa and oil exporters is expected to be weaker, while growth in economies that are not natural-resource intensive should remain robust.
“Growth in South Africa is expected to edge up to a 1.1 per cent pace this year. Nigeria is forecast to rebound from recession and grow at a 1 per cent pace.”
The report is coming few weeks after a London-based World Economics report, stated that Nigeria’s economy is showing little sign that the economy will exit recession over the coming months.
The Federal Government keying into the World’s Bank prediction, assured Nigerians that the country would be out of recession and bounce back stronger in 2017.
The report has however generated differing opinions among financial analysts with many saying the global financial institution does not not have the reputation of correctly predicting Nigeria’s economic fortunes.
Critics of the report have also called on the World Bank to, beyond making predictions, enumerate the policies the Nigerian government has put in place to ensure that the country will come out of recession. They insist that Nigeria can’t get out of the current economic mess with the same failed policies still being used in running the economy.
But some financial analysts believe the report is good news and a reward for the faith Nigerians have placed in the President Muhammadu Buhari administration. They believe that the projections of the World Bank show that the economic policies the Federal Government has put in place will definitely put the country’s economy on the path to recovery.
Among the things that have be blamed for Nigeria’s recession is the slump of oil prices on the world market. That situation has been worsened by renewed insurgency in the Niger Delta region, the attacks on oil installations continue to disrupt production of oil in the region.
Given that 90% of the government’s foreign exchange earning is from oil, many have advised the government to accelerate the diversification of the economy to allow for fast recovery.
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