Nigeria’s infrastructure stock, comprising of roads, water-ways, seaports, airports, etc, increased slightly albeit a slower pace in recent years. At an estimated 35 percent of GDP in 2018, infrastructure stock grew marginally from the recorded 20-25 percent in 20141. The increase may be premised on slightly improved capital spending (the Federal government budgetary capital spending increased from N691 billion in 2015 to N2.2 trillion in 2017) for the four years under review. However, Nigeria’s infrastructure stock continues to be significantly lower than the recommended international benchmark of 70 percent- a point it hopes to reach by 2043 if the required annual $100 billion is invested over the next three decades.
Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates
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.
There is a link between primary commodity export prices and economic performance. Many African economies are primary commodities export biased, often in few primary commodities. Previous studies focus on the impact of commodity prices on growth in Africa with little attention paid to different primary commodities and level of diversification in primary commodities export. This study, investigates the effect of primary commodity prices on the long-run growth of 24 primary commodities-based African economies; by commodity types and level of diversification in primary commodities exports.
Recent report in the media highlights that Nigerias GDP has dropped to $296 billion in 2016, in contrast to the $481 billion recorded in 20151 and Nigeria has lost its position as Africas largest economy to South Africa. This conclusion was based on the computation of GDP with current naira-dollar exchange rate. However, while the naira has significantly lost its official value since the adoption of a flexible exchange rate, estimating GDP merely with a single exchange rate figure (rather than its yearly average) cannot be regarded as an appropriate method to conclude on Africas largest economy.
The naira depreciated by 4.3 percent to a record low of N313/$ at the interbank market segment on July 29, 2016.Precisely, the lack of liquidity in all FX market segments continues to weaken the naira. In order to increase FOREX liquidity, moderate inflationary pressures, encourage capital inflows and support the naira, the CBN may need to increase the supply of FOREX in the interbank market while simultaneously mopping up idle funds through the sale of securities.