World Bank Ranks Nigeria’s Economy Low

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Obinna Chima

The World Bank has categorised Nigeria among economies that have not recorded improved performance since 1995.

The bank stated this in the latest edition of its Africa’s Pulse released yesterday.

Nigeria was categorised among Angola, South Africa and 16 other countries.

The report compared the average annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rates of the countries between during 1995–2008 and 2015–2018.

“These countries did not show any progress in their economic performance from 1995–2008 to 2015–18,” the report read.

“These thresholds correspond to the bottom and top terciles of the annual average growth rates across 44 Sub-Saharan African countries between 1995 and 2008 (that is, 3.5 and 5.4 percent, respectively).

“If a country’s economic performance declined from 1995–2008 to 2015–18, the country is categorised in the bottom tercile, which includes “falling behind” and “slipping,” it added.
The Bank downgraded growth in Sub-Saharan Africa to 2.3 per cent for 2018, down from 2.5 per cent in 2017.

It noted that economic growth remains below population growth for the fourth consecutive year in the continent, adding that although regional growth was expected to rebound to 2.8 per cent in 2019, it would have remained below three per cent since 2015.

“ This issue of Africa’s Pulse also looks at how fragility is holding back sub-Saharan Africa, and how the digital economy can help the continent move forward.

“The digital transformation can increase growth by nearly two percentage points per year and reduce poverty by nearly one percentage point per year in sub-Saharan Africa alone. This is a game-changer for Africa,” said Albert Zeufack, World Bank Chief Economist for Africa.

According to the Bank, the slower-than-expected overall growth reflected ongoing global uncertainty, but increasingly comes from domestic macroeconomic instability including poorly managed debt, inflation, and deficits; political and regulatory uncertainty; and fragility that are having visible negative impacts on some African economies. It also belies stronger performance in several smaller economies that continue to grow steadily, it stated.

“In Nigeria, growth reached 1.9 per cent in 2018, up from 0.8 per cent in 2017, reflecting a modest pick-up in the non-oil economy. South Africa came out of recession in the third quarter of 2018, but growth was subdued at 0.8 percent over the year, as policy uncertainty held back investment. Angola, the region’s third largest economy, remained in recession, with growth falling sharply as oil production stayed weak,” it added.