The latest report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on the Nigeria’s future has projected that country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) may hit $1.45 trillion by 2030.
The report estimates that at biennial growth rates of 5 and 7 per cent till 2030, Nigeria’s GDP could be $530 billion higher if corruption is reduced to levels comparable to Malaysia.
It, however, stated that national policies should be guided not only by improvements in GDP but also a broader measure of development through the Human Development Index (HDI).
The report added that translating economic growth into real improvements in the lives of the average citizen poses a real challenge for policy makers, noting that three critical levers need to be improved to enable Nigeria reach its socio-economic targets which are measured by a high human development status.
It also identified the levers to include improving the ease of doing business, enhanced labour productivity and reduction of the overall level of corruption perception.
“Despite strong economic growth at a CAGR of 5.3 per cent post-rebasing, Nigeria has been plagued with the jobless growth phenomenon as employment growth has only averaged 1.3 per cent. However, growth has not been broad based with persistent incidences of high poverty, unemployment and underemployment.
“Official unemployment rose from 6.0 per cent in 2011 to 8.2 per cent in 2015, with a growing number of youths massively underemployed at 18.3 per cent of the labour force,’’ the report stated.
Experts said though growth in the Nigerian economy has been driven by more labour-intensive sectors, such as agriculture and services, income opportunities have been limited due to low productivity levels and thus has not resulted in improved living standards for Nigeria’s growing population, hence the need for developmental measures beyond GDP.
Advisory partner and chief economist, PwC Nigeria, Dr Andrew S. Nevin said: “This research draws on a more direct and measurable approach to tracking improvement in human development. Using qualitative analysis, academic reviews and country case studies, we identified three critical levers that need to be improved for the average Nigerian to feel the impact of any growth in the economy.”
Progress across the three levers, the report highlights, could result in a significant improvement in Nigeria’s HDI score, thereby attaining a high human development status by 2030.
Specifically, PwC posits that Nigeria should target to improve Ease of Doing Business ranking through a higher Distance to Frontier score of 61 by 2030 (45 in 2015).
Similarly, it states that labour productivity currently at $3.61/hour should be improved to $12.05/hour by 2030 while Corruption Perception Index (CPI) score should be improved from 26 in 2015 to 34 by 2030.
“Tracking progress across these three levers has the potential to boost the attention on HDI as priority in the public agenda. An analysis of these levers can identify areas requiring policy attention, and specific strategies targeted at improving overall wellbeing can be formulated,” Nevin added.
FG set to pay counterpart funding for $6bn Nigeria/China agreement
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja said the federal government was ready to provide counterpart funding for all agreements reached with the People’s Republic of China to fast-track ongoing efforts in closing infrastructure gaps.
Speaking with the Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Zhou Pingjian, at the presentation of Letters of Credence ceremony at the State House, President Buhari, in a statement by his special adviser on media, Femi Adesina, commended the readiness of the Chinese public and private sectors to invest in Nigeria, especially in areas that directly improve the livelihoods of Nigerians.
‘‘We really appreciate the efforts of the Chinese government and its people in supporting Nigeria’s development by always seeking to improve our bilateral relations.
‘‘We are also happy that China is working with Nigeria as partners in progress. We will work hard to always meet the counterpart funding for all the agreements reached during my visit to China in April, as we look forward to stronger ties,’’ the president said.
He also noted that the relationship between Nigerian and China had over the years bolstered the country’s economy through technology and skills transfer in areas like rail, road and energy constructions.
The president said Nigeria was ready to receive prospective investors from China who had signified interest in the country.
Earlier, the Chinese ambassador had said he had been inundated with so many requests by investors from his country who had been ‘‘falling over one another” to explore business opportunities in Nigeria.
Pingjian said the investors had been attracted by the ‘‘remarkable and audacious’’ change process that President Buhari’s administration had been implementing in safeguarding security, fighting corruption and restoring integrity and sanctity in all public sector transactions.
President Buhari also received Letters of Credence from the ambassador of the Republic of Austria, Mr Warner Senfter; ambassador of the State of Israel, Mr Guy Feldman, and ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway, Mr Jens-Petter Kjemprud.