• IMF says Nigerian economy will grow by 1.9% in 2018, higher than the 0.8% growth recorded in 2017.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says Nigerian economy will grow by 1.9% in 2018, higher than the 0.8% growth recorded in 2017.

Amine Mati, IMF's senior representative in Nigeria, explained that the rise will be buoyed by some pick-up in the non-oil sector of the economy.

He stated this during his presentation of the Fall 2018 Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa in Abuja on Thursday, November 08, 2018.

Mati further stated that average growth for sub-Saharan Africa will hit 3.1% in 2018 from 2.7% in 2017.

The economic expert said, “the recovery is expected to contribute about 0.7 percentage points to the region’s average growth in 2018 and lift activity in Nigeria’s trading partners through stronger remittances, financial spillovers and import demand.”

According to him, recovery in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to continue amidst rising risks as growth momentum improved most notably for oil exporters, mainly in Nigeria, but remains subdued in South Africa, noting that as the magnitude of capital flows to the region increased, the volatility also increased.

Professor Yemi Osinbajo and President Muhammadu Buhari
Professor Yemi Osinbajo and President Muhammadu Buhari

Mati said though Nigeria’s debt to GDP was quite low, more than 50% of revenue went into interest payments.

He said that increase in revenue was very important to bridge the gap to ensure that revenue to GDP was sufficient to pay up and service the debt profitably.

Nigeria’s economy record slow growth in Q2

Nigeria’s economy recorded slow growth in the second quarter of 2018 as oil sector contracted by 3.95% compared to 14.77% growth in the first quarter and 3.53% year-on-year.

For the first time since the exit from recession, growth was driven by the non-oil sector which grew by 2.05%, the strongest growth since the first quarter of 2015.