CBN confident economy will grow by up to 3% this year

Nigeria estimates its economy will grow between 2.5 per cent and three per cent this year, Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele said yesterday, after an easing of lockdown measures and increased vaccinations boosted business, including international and local travel.

Africa’s largest economy had contracted in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, though in the fourth quarter it managed to exit its recession, the second since 2016, and growth has now increased for three consecutive quarters to June 30. The economy expanded by five per cent in the second quarter of this year.

“With continued improvements in the economy, I am optimistic… we would end the year with an annual GDP growth of between 2.5–3.0 per cent,” Emefiele told a banking conference.

Nigeria had been grappling with low growth before the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a recession and created large financing gaps, including dollar shortages and inflation.

Amid a third wave of infections, Nigeria has started a second phase of inoculating its 200 million citizens after it received a donation of 4 million doses of the Moderna vaccine from the U.S. government.

“Notwithstanding the positive news … I would admit that growth remains fragile. We are not out of the woods yet, given the challenges in combating the COVID-19 pandemic,” Emefiele said.

Nigeria had recorded its third consecutive quarterly growth, National Bureau of Statistics )NBS ) disclosed yesterday. The aggregate GDP stood at N39,123,713.32 million in nominal terms – higher than the second quarter of 2020 with aggregate GDP of N34,023,197.60 million, indicating a year-on-year nominal growth rate of 14.99 per cent.