FG, IMF disagree over economic growth rate
Nigeria and the International Monetary Fund have disagreed over how much the economy will grow this year, with the government saying 2.2 percent and the Fund opting for just 0.8 percent.
Either would be an improvement on last year, when Nigeria suffered its first recession in more than two decades as low crude prices and oil production slashed government revenues and caused chronic dollar shortages.
The government’s forecasts, seen by Reuters on Thursday, are contained in a document titled: 2018-2020 Medium Term Fiscal Framework and Strategy Paper, which forms the basis for its 2018 budget, dated July 27.
It projects a big bounce back, to 2.2 percent this year, 4.8 percent in 2018 and 4.5 percent in 2019, before reaching 7 percent in 2020.
The IMF, however, is not as bullish, saying on Wednesday it expects Nigeria’s economy to grow by 0.8 percent this year, with threats to growth remaining elevated.
“I think that risks are to the downside rather than the upside, but 2.2 percent isn’t outside the range of the possible now that oil prices and oil output are recovering,” said John Ashbourne, Africa economist at Capital Economics.
The OPEC member expects oil production to hit 2.3 million barrels per day and a price of $45 per barrel. It said oil production reached 1.9 million barrels between January and June 2017, including condensates.
Nigeria has promised OPEC to cap its crude oil output at 1.8 million bpd, although it does not include condensates in this total.