By Asmau Ahmad
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) stated that the 3.2 per cent growth projection by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is not enough considering the poverty rate which is currently standing at 31 per cent.
This is even as the apex bank urged the federal government as well as stakeholders to focus more on non-oil exports to ensure the country grows faster than its peers.
CBN Acting Governor, Folashodun Shonubi stated this in a goodwill message during the 2023 Zenith Bank international trade seminar, with theme: ‘Nigerian Non-oil export industry; The Present, The Future’ in Lagos.
Shonubi who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Economic Policy Directorate at the CBN, Dr. Kingsely Obiora, said that following the revised growth downwards from 3.5 per cent to three per cent this year and three per cent next year, it will definitely not work for Nigeria due to the poverty rate figure of 31 per cent.
“If you look at the equation for gross domestic product, exports enter, not only as an addiction with a multiplier effect, it enters as an endogenous variable, something that you can control fully by yourself. We tend not to grow at 3.2 per cent and expect to pull 31 per cent of us living below the poverty line.
“For Sub-Saharan Africa, they expect growth to moderate from 4.1 per cent last year to 3.5 per cent this year and then to take back again to just slightly above four per cent next year. In Nigeria they expect us to do 3.2 per cent this year. If you look at the fact that poverty in Nigeria today is 31 per cent, 3.2 per cent growth will not cut it for us,” Obiora explained.
Commending Zenith Bank’s initiative on non-oil exports, Obiora stated that the current 1.2 per cent contribution to GDP is still abysmal and added that Nigeria needs to be growing faster as countries that are way smaller are doing much better.
“We are lucky that we have a government whose economic philosophy can be capsulated in market-driven initiatives while also protecting and engendering the egalitarian bedrock of our society.
“So, there cannot be a better time for us to grab this our future, work on non-oil exports and make sure that we grow beyond the 1.2 per cent that we are currently producing,” he said.