Economic and financial experts said on Wednesday Nigeria needs to attain at least seven percent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in the next five years in order to overcome her economic crisis.
The experts who spoke at the 15th annual banking and finance conference in Abuja, expressed fear that problems of poverty and unemployment would escalate unless the government quickly came up with solutions to the challenges that had dragged the nation’s economy to its knees.
They stressed that Nigeria’s GDP growth was suboptimal and below peers in Africa, with an average of 1.75 percent over the last five years, compared to other African countries such as Ethiopia, which has a growth rate of 7.3 percent.
In his presentation, the Senior Partner and Chief Economist with KPMG Nigeria, Kunle Elebute, said Nigeria’s growth has not been inclusive as unemployment continues to rise from 18.8 percent in 2017 to 33.3 percent in 2021, while GDP per capita has remained almost on a similar level.
He added that the Federal Government has continued to grapple with the fiscal challenges as revenue cannot finance the required growth largely due to a significant increase in the level of subsidy support and low tax-based revenue to GDP.
Elebute said: “We need to double our GDP growth rate against our current population growth rate to have the desired impact. At two percent per annum, the population will grow faster than the economy resulting in worsening unemployment, and poverty.
“It is expedient that the economy grows at a minimum of 7 percent more than the current population growth. This will almost double the current GDP by 2031 from $440.8 billion to $867.1 billion.”
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, Uche Orji, noted that Nigeria has the potential to grow its GDP to between 6 to 7 percent.
He said: “If we cannot boost the economy, it will be impossible to manage any other issues.”
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