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World Bank says Nigeria’s recession drops ECOWAS growth by 1.6%

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Economic growth in the sub-Saharan Africa is likely to slip 1.6 per cent by the end of 2016, its lowest level in two decades.

This is due to continuing woes from Nigeria’s economic downturn, according the banks’ analysis of economic trends.

In the half-yearly review of economies of continents and regions, the World Bank described Nigeria as one of the African largest economies, aside from South Africa, which had been one of the world’s fastest growing regions over the past decade.

The review which was unveiled in Ivory Coast’s commercial capital, Abidjan, on Wednesday, however, singled out Ivory Coast and Senegal as top performers.

For Nigeria, Albert Zeufack, the World Bank chief economist for Africa said: “Its commodities slump has hit its oil and mineral exporters harder than South Africa, a major fact responsible for bringing growth down to three per cent in 2015, with 1.6 per cent further fall in the West African state anticipated in 2016.

Read also: IMF gives Nigeria tougher terms before any help

“Our analysis shows that the more resilient growth performers tend to have stronger macroeconomic policy frameworks, better business regulatory environment, more diverse structure of exports, and more effective institutions,” he stated

He described what he termed “improved performers” made around a quarter of sub-Saharan African countries, to include home to 42 per cent of people of the sub region, but which accounts for only 21 per cent of economic output.

While 40 per cent of African economies are struggling to survive, which is about 36 per cent of the continent’s population of over 1.3 billion, 62 per cent of economic activities, Nigeria and South Africa alone account for half of output.

The review says despite recent small recovery in commodities, price is expected to remain below their 2011-14 peak levels adding that as a result, growth is projected to pick up slightly to 2.9 per cent next year, and economies are expected to expand by 3.6 per cent in 2018.

However, government spending on Africa’s agricultural sector is still lagging behind developing regions, despite making up a third of GDP and two-thirds of employment.

By Emma Eke….

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