Photo by Ovinuchi Ejiohuo on Unsplash

Foresight Africa 2019 report

There is a wide gulf between the reality of Nigeria’s economy and its undisputed potential but closing the distance is achievable according to the Buhari administration. This administration’s ‘Change” agenda includes the implementation of strategies to “close the distance” to the bright future of Africa’s largest economy.

Nigeria’s gross domestic product and population are projected to reach $3.3 trillion and 399 million respectively by 2050,

Over the past three and a half years, Nigeria had to cope with security challenges, disruptions in oil production, exports and devastating floods. They remain optimistic because they survived and were able to make progress on many fronts.

For growth, stability and prosperity the government is promoting a diverse, productive and competitive economy while utilizing fewer resources. The government had also reclaimed control over the North East territory from the Boko Haram terrorists as well as tackled grand corruption and improved transparency and accountability in public fund management.

The economy has had six quarters of growth after a recession. Nigeria’s gross domestic product grew by 1.81 percent in the third quarter of 2018 which is higher than the 1.17 percent growth rate in the same period of 2017.

Foreign exchange reserves increased from $28.57 billion in May 2015 to $42.92 billion by mid-December 2018. The inflation rate also went down from 18.72 percent in January 2017 to 11.28 percent in November 2018. The increase in non-oil exports and the decrease in imported food and other items turned the 290.1 billion naira trade deficit in 2016 to a 681.27 billion naira surplus as of the third quarter of 2018.

The country has allocated its largest capital spending of 3 trillion naira ($8.3 billion) for critical construction of roads, power stations and railways to connect people and goods across the country, as well as direct investments in people development – Africa’s largest social program.

The government continues to focus on creating and enabling a favorable business environment for small and medium-sized enterprises. The reforms raised Nigeria’s ranking by 24 places in the World Bank’s Doing Business report in the past three years. For 2019 and beyond, the plan is to harness the energies of young entrepreneurs in the development of agriculture and agro-based industries, solid minerals, technology and innovation and the creative sector