Mr `Laoye Jaiyeola, the Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), has made a case for inclusive growth to provide employment opportunities and lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty.
Jaiyeola said this in NESG 2018 Macroeconomic Outlook “Will Nigeria’s growth be inclusive in 2018 and beyond?’’ posted on the group’s website.
The official said in spite of the fact that the country came out of economic recession in 2017, some key socio-economic indicators did not fare well.
“For instance, the latest report of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that unemployment and underemployment rate rose from 35.2 per cent in 2016 fourth quarter to 40 per cent as at third quarter, 2017.
“This implies that over four million Nigerians lost their jobs in the same period.
“Likewise, over 85 million Nigerians lived below the national poverty line, even as Nigeria remains in the category of countries with low Human Development Indicators (HDI), according to the World Bank’s HDI Report.’’
According to him, the Nigerian economy recovered from its recessionary trend as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth bounced back into the positive territory in 2017.
He said the GDP bounced back into positive territory from -0.9 per cent in the first quarter to 0.72 per cent and 1.4 per cent in the second and third quarters, respectively.
“The year also saw improvements, albeit modest in key economic indicators such as inflation, which closed the year at 16 per cent from 18.6 per cent in December 2016.
“Also, the year saw improvement in the external reserves, which rose to over 38 billion dollars and exchange rate, which remained relatively stable during the year.’’
In addition, Nigeria recorded significant improvement in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking, moving up 24 places to 145th from 169th in the previous year.
Jaiyeola, however, said Nigeria’s economic growth needed to be inclusive to provide employment opportunities and lift millions out of poverty
He said considering the urgent need to address the apparent dilapidating socio-economic fabric of the Nigerian state, the NESG’s Macroeconomic Outlook Report for 2018 was launched.
The official said that the outlook emphasised the need for Nigeria to set a sustainable path in achieving inclusive growth and development in 2018 and beyond.
He said in setting out key policy directions toward achieving this goal, NESG examined three pillars of inclusive growth and proposes policy measures to achieve broad-based and sustained growth.
In addition to a macroeconomic review of the Nigerian economy in 2017, he said the report provided forecast for key economic variables premised on plausible economic dynamics in 2018.
“The report examines government policies, events and interventions that will shape economic outcomes in 2018.
“It is unique in the sense that it introduces a policy efficiency variable, which examines the efficacy of the Nigerian government to implement the proposed reforms that will lead to inclusive growth,’’ he said. (NAN)