Beyond The World Bank’s Alarm on Nigeria – Lost Decade of Economic Growth

Beyond The World Bank’s Alarm on Nigeria –  Lost Decade of Economic Growth

It is a very tough call by the World Bank: “The international bank made it known that the country’s gross domestic product is likely to approach its 2010 level by the end of the year thus reversing a full decade of economic growth.” But that is not the full story before you begin to blame Buhari.

Two things: (1) there is no need for finger pointing on the World Bank’s latest Nigeria Development Update (2) while President Buhari has a partial blame for driving Nigeria into a mild recession due to his exceedingly and unnecessarily delays to appoint ministers in 2015/2016, he cannot be held responsible for all the paralyses. 

The fact is this: Nigeria is at war and during wars, especially when fought in your homeland, you struggle.  While our researchers are yet to do the needful, my layman’s estimate is that Boko Haram insurgency has, through its cumulative effects, subtracted at least 3% per year in Nigeria’s GDP since 2014. That 3% comes via opportunity cost, moving money from education and infrastructure to fighting wars, and also through massive displacement of farming communities. Agriculture remains the mainstay of our economy and accounts for the largest share of the GDP. So anything which distorts farming will affect the economy.

If our near-term GDP suddenly falls back to 2010 number, in US dollars of course, it means poverty will be scaled since our population has grown over the same period. So, if economic opportunities are growing or shrinking when the population is growing, we will suddenly find ourselves in the Rev Malthus quagmire (remember you secondary school economics).

My suggestion is this: Nigeria needs to refresh its economy through investment in the future, and if we do that, we can ignite growth. From my angle, there are many ways we can do this. But I will simply share one: commit to purchase military and other necessary things from Nigerian companies. If we commit to that, we can develop new industries and magically as we fight these wars and insecurity, we can capture “value” by seeding companies of the future which can serve Nigeria and Africa in general. Today, the opportunities which the war has offered us to innovate and think differently are not being utilized. That is a bigger war we are losing!

The Nigeria Development Update (NDU) report by the World Bank estimated that despite the country’s gradual recovery from the 2020 recession, Nigerian masses will continue to suffer the adverse effect of the economic downturn.

A new report authored by the World Bank says a full decade of economic growth in Nigeria is likely to be lost by the end of 2021 under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

The international bank made it known that the country’s gross domestic product is likely to approach its 2010 level by the end of the year thus reversing a full decade of economic growth.

The bank in its bi-annual Nigeria Development Update (NDU) report series said that there will be a constant decline in the country’s GDP per capita despite recovery from recession, projecting the country’s population to grow faster than its economy.

The NDU report by the World Bank estimated that despite the country’s gradual recovery from the 2020 recession, Nigerian masses will continue to suffer the adverse effect of the economic downturn.

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2 thoughts on “Beyond The World Bank’s Alarm on Nigeria – Lost Decade of Economic Growth

  1. If Buhari administration is not to be blamed, who should be blamed then? They were put there to fix what they claimed Jonathan and co destroyed, and after six years, instead of improving on the numbers they met, they are yet to reset the ones they destroyed.

    He got there and was indecisive for six months, and within that period, naira lost value, recession happened, and foreign investors pulled funds, the capital market struggled. The cumulative effects of all these are what we are still suffering from, yet some think that with loud mouths and propaganda the facts can be mutilated; no way.

    What the report is saying in essence is that we just wasted six years, paying people to take us back to 2010; you don’t need a special talent to accomplish that, because it’s the base. Where have we gained in six years? Quite pitiful.

    It will be disingenuous to blame everything on fighting war, which the administration partly denied from inception anyway, what portion of the collapse was as a result of bad judgement, and which portion crashed naira? And the net gains of border closure?

    Time for excuses is over, everyone should just accept failure and confess, then we can see how best to salvage what is left of the chaos called Nigeria.

    Reply
    1. “If Buhari administration is not to be blamed, who should be blamed then? ” – sure, he is the president and he needs to fix things. But the war started before him. For that, I give him a free space. Though they do claim that they have won the war, I will only agree when the security budget returns to pre-war level.

      Reply

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