According to the World Bank, poverty level in Nigeria increased in 2017 with almost half the Nigerian population living in extreme poverty. As stated in the “Nigeria Biannual Economic Update” report, approximately 49.2 percent of Nigeria’s population live below the PPP $1.90 per capita per day poverty line in 20171 – an uptick of 0.8 percentage points. Particularly important is that despite emergence from recession in 2017, poverty and unemployment levels increased. The World Bank suggests that prospects for poverty reduction have been jeopardized by limited connective infrastructure, and policy makers’ inability to identify interventions best suited for development potentials.
Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates
Nigerias Bonny light price declined by 7.1 percent from $40.19 per barrel on March 24, 2016 to $37.32 per barrel on April 1, 20162. OPEC weekly basket price also decreased by 3 percent from $35.81 per barrel to $34.74 per barrel within the same period3. The remerged downward trend in crude oil price is traceable to concerns over the likely failure of the oil production freeze deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran4. The outcome of the oil production freeze meeting which is scheduled to hold on April 17, 2016, will give further direction for oil supply regulation.
International rating body, Fitch, has projected higher economic growth for Nigeria in 2018. The body estimated that Nigerias economy will grow by 2.6 percent, slightly higher compared to projections from the International Monetary Fund (2.1 percent) and The World Bank (1 percent). A myriad of factors may have driven the projected increase: improved availability of forex for the non-oil sector, higher government capital expenditure capability driven by more oil revenue, and fiscal stimulus. However, the relatively strong economic growth projected by Fitch and IMF may be hampered
Latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) report by the International Monetary Fund reveals that Nigerias economy will grow by 1.9 percent in 2018 an unchanged stance from earlier projections. However, the figure is 2.9 percentage points lower than the 4.8 percent 2018 estimated growth rate in Nigerias ERGP (Economic Recovery and Growth Plan) 2 showing a very large disparity between domestic and international growth forecasts for Nigeria. The Funds projection however seems to have taken into cognizance underlying factors that could slow growth in the medium term: faster pace of population growth relative to GDP growth3, poor policy implementation, banking system fragilities and foreign exchange market segmentation.