The IMF retained its 2.1 percent forecast of Nigeria’s GDP growth rate for 2018, while increasing the 2019 projected GDP growth rate to 2.3 percent1, from 1.9 percent projected earlier. The stated review is at the backdrop of continued increases in commodity prices in the long term, for which crude oil is the benchmark for Nigeria. Outlook on crude oil price and production is expected to maintain upward improvements in the near term. However, the Nigerian government pegs its own forecasted growth rate at 3.5 percent in 2018 – higher than figures predicted by the IMF, although premised around the same driving factors. In order to achieve a 3.5 percent GDP growth rate, a more effective implementation of the bold initiatives in this administration’s economic plan – the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan – is critical particularly in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors.
Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates
Internally generated revenue by 35 states for the 2016 fiscal year increased by 17.5 percent to N802 billion from N683 billion generated in the preceding year. A breakdown of the IGR shows that the increase was driven by PAYE, Direct assessment, Road taxes, Revenue from MDAs and other taxes. The highest and lowest revenue generating states were Lagos (38%) and Ebonyi (0.1%) respectively. An improvement in the efficiency of the tax system could improve the contributions of the IGR to overall government revenue. Particularly, incorporating workers in small stores, agricultural and informal businesses into the tax system; building capacity of tax officials and computerizing their operations; as well as investing in quality data collection and access could provide some quick wins.
The naira continued its downward trajectory in the review week. Specifically, naira depreciated significantly at the parallel segment by 3.5 percent to a record low of N440/$ on September 23, 2016. Notably, this was driven by the worsening liquidity constraints at the interbank market which left the excess forex demand to be sourced at the parallel market, and thus exerted downward pressure on the naira. The naira is likely to further weaken given that most of the liquidity constraints are exogenously determined and thus forex supply will likely remain subdued by its demand.
External reserve dropped slightly by 0.6 per cent from $28.35 billion in January 22 to $28.19 billion in January 295. Considering the continuous decline, government has stepped up efforts towards financing the deficit in the proposed budget through borrowing. At the forex market, the official exchange rate remained unchanged at N197/$ while the naira depreciated at the parallel market by 2.36 percent from N297/$ to N304/$ between January 22 and 296. Despite the huge spread between the official and parallel market exchange rates, the monetary authorities maintained its fixed exchange rate regime at the official forex market. It is expected that if the demand pressure for dollar persists, the value of naira may decline in the near term.
Recent NBS data on Nigerias real GDP growth rate declined from -0.36 percent in 2016Q1 to -2.06 percent in 2016Q2. With negative GDP growth rate in two consecutive quarters, Nigeria records its first recession in 23 years. Both the oil and non-oil sectors continued to contract by -15.59 and -0.20 percentage points, respectively, relative to preceding quarter. The worsening growth rate in the oil sector was largely driven by the decline in domestic crude oil production by 14.5 percent relative to preceding quarter