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March 3, 2024
You are currently viewing Expert hinges Nigeria’s economic growth on robust agro-industrial development
Ray Atelly, President, NBCC and Dr Doyin Salami, former Chief Economic Adviser to Ex President Muhammadu Bihari at the NBCC 2024 outlook in Lagos

Expert hinges Nigeria’s economic growth on robust agro-industrial development

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By Rukayat Moisemhe

Dr Doyin Salami, former Chief Economic Adviser to ex-President Muhammadu Buhari, says the country’s economic growth prospects in 2024 will depend on a robust agro-industrial development.

Salami said this on Thursday in Lagos at the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) January Breakfast Meeting with the theme: “NBCC 2024 Economic Outlook”.

According to him, the country was at the point where agriculture will provide the fix-up for manufacturing to engender a less fragile domestic economy.

He said the outlook for 2024 showed improvement in inflation whilst output growth remained fragile in both global and domestic economic environments reflecting a challenging but defining year ahead.

“The beginning of 2024 is defined by a fragile global economy, slow output growth, high global inflation in spite of tight monetary policy and worsening geo-political tensions.

“Policy in Nigeria needs to stimulate oil production and close the differential between Nigeria-United States inflation and yields to make Nigeria’s financial markets attractive and reduce the incentive for capital flight from Nigeria.

“Inflation is expected to continue dropping in 2024 although the possibility of resurgence on the back of supply shocks cannot be ruled out.

“Yield curves are reflecting market expectation that monetary policy rates will ease in the year ahead with reduced policy rates likely to start in Europe,” he said.

Salami said for Nigeria, areas to be addressed by reforms included improving the security environment, improving food security, easing the financing constraints of the government.

Others, he said, were attaining cost stability (exchange rate and inflation), enhancing liquidity of the foreign exchange market, significantly raising and sustaining crude oil production.

“To succeed, government must restore economic stability, be surefooted and transparent in design, articulation; and ensure proper sequencing and keep its nerve in reform implementation.

“In 2024, though expected to be better than 2023, projections of output growth (estimated at 3.1 per cent GDP growth) show income growth just about matching population growth thus leaving average income per head of population unchanged.

“Whilst general tax rates will remain unchanged, further significant reforms to the structure of taxation, subsidies and their administration is expected.

“A review of wages should be concluded as provided for in the 2019 National Minimum Wage,” he said.

In his remarks, Mr Olayemi Cardoso, Governor, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said several potential external and domestic factors could influence Nigeria’s economic outlook in 2024.

Cardoso, represented by Dr Ladi Bada Keffi, a Deputy Director with the CBN, stated that the country’s economic outlook for 2024 was faced with upside and downside factors.

He noted that although the CBN had implemented several policies and reforms to enhance the country’s short-to medium-term economic prospects, a successful and well coordinated execution of the various reforms is, mandatory.

The CBN governor said policy options going forward was to increase interest rates, possibly in a series of hikes depending on inflation trajectory.

This, he said, would curb credit growth and reduce money supply, dampening demand and inflationary pressures.

He, however, noted that on the flip side, it could also slow economic activity and increase borrowing costs for businesses.

“The CBN needs to coordinate its monetary policy actions with the government’s fiscal policy to ensure effectiveness and avoid conflicting signals.

“Clear and open communication about policy decisions and rationale is crucial for building market confidence and managing expectations.

“Evidence based policy action hinged on closely monitor economic indicators and adjust policies as needed to respond to evolving circumstances,” he said.

Cardoso reiterated the bank’s commitment to repositioning the Nigerian economy for greater performance through policies that would unlock the growth prospect of the economy.

Ray Atelly, President, NBCC, said the annual event was in alignment with its cardinal mandate and its commitment to elevate the value proposition to members and stakeholders.

Atelly said the event would provide comprehensive assessment of opportunities, challenges, and threats that businesses should expect to contend with during the year domestically and globally.

He added that the NBCC would continue to make significant contributions towards the growth of Nigeria and partner with government to ensure that things work. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma

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