The forecast was made in a report titled: “Africa 2017”, by Mr Charles Robertson, the Global Chief Economist at Renaissance Capital, noted that investors are scanning to take opportunities of investment channel s in these countries.
“These are some of the markets I think investors should be considering because of the growth acceleration story,” he explained.
Nigeria still has a very positive demography, pointing out that the country’s working-age population has been growing at 15 per cent over the past five years, Robertson noted.
Basing his assertion on recent reforms around the ease of doing business in the country and other initiatives towards providing favourable business environment, the global analysts observed:
“Nigeria’s Ease of Doing Business is presently at 169th in the world. But I am promising you that it is going to get considerably better in the next 12 months. This government has actually started to reform.
“They have slashed the time to register a new business from 10 days to two days. I think as you get the Ease of Doing Business better, you should also see some improvement in corruption ranking. It is never going to be dramatic. We do know President Buhari has tried to make some difference.”
The report noted an overall improvement in the legal environment of business in the country.
The report also suggested a concerted action as regards the exchange rate system of Nigeria, noting that the current control system may deter investment prospects to the country.
“Currency pegs don’t work in countries with low per capita income. The naira is either too weak or too strong.”
Also noting the over-reliance of Nigeria’s budget performance and forex reserves on global trend of price of crude oil.
“But my view is that shale would keep it down. What I think drives oil is China. When China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was booming, we had oil price shooting up, but when China’s GDP stopped rising last year, the oil price was down. There should be some recovery, I would argue, in the next few years. If there is one thing which worries me today, it is Chinese loan growth.
“I still think there is a story here which is working. The story is that the last time oil fell, which was in the 80s, GDP in Nigeria fell by over 10 per cent, not just once, but multiple times throughout the decade.
“But in the 90s, when oil prices were low, Nigeria was not even in recession. But this time, it fell by 1.5 per cent last year, which was a much better performance than in the past. The human capital has changed, not just in,” he said.