The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) has predicted that Nigeria will experience stronger economic growth as business activities increase in the remaining part of the year. Laoye Jaiyeola, chief executive officer (CEO) of NESG, spoke at the third Edition of the Mid-Year Review of 2023 Economic Outlook, organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria Centre for Financial Studies (CIBNCFS), on Tuesday in Lagos.
He said the private sector performance is notably responding favourably to the current policy posture of the new government amid the challenges. “The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) is considered a perfect predictor of economic growth momentum in Nigeria and across the globe,” he said. “Hence, there is a likelihood for stronger than expected economic growth in the remaining part of 2023 as firms’ new orders, output growth rate, and inventory activities increase.” Jaiyeola, however, predicted that initial policy shocks might increase inflationary pressure and worsen the cost of living crisis if not properly managed.
He said convergence of foreign exchange market rates would reduce currency risks adding that the new policy regime would stimulate investors’ confidence in the economy. He added that the monetary policy interest rate would likely rise until the end of the year. On socio-economic outcomes, Jaiyeola said the initial policy shocks from foreign exchange rates convergence and petroleum subsidy removal would heighten the cost of living. He said the situation would push more people into the poverty bracket as higher inflationary pressure would erode purchasing power of many households.
Also speaking at the event, Biodun Adedipe, chief consultant, Adedipe Associates Ltd, urged the federal government to learn from countries that had gone through similar problems, to get the economy back on track. “Are there lessons that we can learn from other jurisdictions especially with our dependence on hydrocarbons; there are countries we can learn from like the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, which had the same currency trouble because of supply just the same way we are having today?” he asked. “So what did the government do, they took a very firm stand and the bottom line was that the Malaysian economy recovered the following year.