Written by Sarah NEGEDU

Economic recovery: Nigeria needs 3% growth rate

Despite the steady economic growth being experienced since September 2017, the federal government says the economy needs to record a minimum growth rate of 3percent before Nigerians can feel the impact of the country’s exit from recession.

Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo, made the claim while speaking on arrangements for the 24th Nigerian Economic Summit.

The minister who was responding to questions on why Nigerians are yet to feel the impact of economic growth despite the country’s exit from recession, said the population, which is growing at an average of three percent, had made it challenging for the Gross Domestic Product growth rate to be inclusive.

Udoma said since the country’s exit from recession, the rate of growth had not increased above the population growth rate.

“You will recall that in the second quarter, the GDP growth rate was 1.5percent, which was lower than as expected. We have a lot more work to do, because our population is growing at about three percent, and unless we are growing at more than four or five percent, we will not be able to feel the impact.

“And that is why we have to work even harder to get the growth at the level at which we wanted, and that is basically why we have to work so hard and we cannot be complacent.”

He said the federal government has however moved 10,073 million Nigerians from poverty, adding that the achievement is one of the key priorities of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP, by investing in the people.

Giving a breakdown of the claim, he said government had provided 8.96million school children under the home grown School Feeding Programme, over 297,000 poor and vulnerable Nigerians supported with cash transfer of N5,000, successfully  disbursed more than 308,000 loans of N50,000 under  the Government  Enterprise  and Empowerment Programme, GEEP, and 200,000 young unemployed graduates empowered through the N-Power scheme , while  over 308,000 had been selected for consideration for the second  batch.

Speaking on the summit, the minister this year’s summit with the theme “Poverty to Prosperity: Making Governance & Institutions Work”, will focus on corruption and rule of law; effective public institutions; sustainable economic opportunities; human development; and participation and citizens’ rights.

The Nigerian Economic Summit is organised annually by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, NESG, in collaboration with the Federal Government, represented by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.

The summit which is scheduled to hold on October 22 and 23, hopes to bring together government officials, representatives of the private sector, development partners, the civil society and some members of the academia. Stakeholders will reflect on issues constraining national development, with the aim of building consensus so as to evolve common strategies and policy frameworks for addressing the issues.

The chairman and CEO of NESG, Mr. Laoye Jaiyeola, explained that the summit would focus on using governance to lift Nigerians out of poverty.

 

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