The International Monetary Fund (IMF), on Monday said Nigeria and
other Sub-Saharan countries would grow their economies by an average
of 3.4 per cent in 2018, from 2.8 per cent in 2017.
IMF’s country Senior Representative, Mr Amine Mati, said this during
the public presentation of the Spring 2018 Issue of the Sub-Saharan
African Regional Economic Outlook (REO) in Lagos.
The theme of the presentation was, “Domestic Revenue Mobilisation and
Mati said about two-third of the countries in the region could
experience the growth riding on the back of stronger global growth,
higher commodity prices and improved capital market access.
The IMF country representative, however, said on curren
t policies, average growth in the region was expected to decline below
4 per cent over the medium term.
“Across countries, economic outcomes are far from uniform. Oil
exporters are still dealing with the legacy of the largest real oil
price decline since 1970 with growth well below past trends and rising
debts,” he added.
He said there was need for prudent fiscal policy to rein in public
debt, while monetary policy must be geared toward ensuring low
He advised the countries to also continue to pursue structural reforms
to reduce market distortions to increase private investment.
Mati said this would strengthen revenue mobilisation to give
governments the means to invest in physical and human capital as well
as social infrastructure.
He, however, said domestic revenue mobilisation was one of the most
pressing policy challenges facing sub-Saharan African countries.
According to him, nearly all African countries are seeking to raise
revenue to make progress toward their sustainable development goals
while preserving fiscal sustainability.
“Despite substantial progress in revenue mobilisation, sub-Saharan
Africa was still one of the regions with the lowest revenue-to-GDP
ratio,” he said.
Also, Mrs Patience Oniha, Director General, Debt Management Office
(DMO), said the decline in interest rate in sub-Saharan countries
meant that there were about N200 billion in the market for the private
sector to invest in.
“You will also notice that we are retiring some of the treasury bills
as they mature.
“The main challenge I am giving to the private sector is, why is money
still sitting where it shouldn’t be? Why has it not reached the
private sector because that was the key objective of our strategy.
“We borrow because there is revenue shortfall. The National Assembly
passed the budget last week and we know it was higher than what the
“So, as a debt manager what I am looking for is to see where the
funding of that incremental size may come from. Am I supposed to be
borrowing to make up for that shortfall,” Oniha said.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group
(NESG) Mr Laoye Jaiyeola, said there was an increase in the
micro-economic stability as the inflation rate continued to decline.
Jaiyeola said this had resulted in a drop in interest rate which in
turn would have a positive impact on private sector activities.
He added that government still needed to boost the framework around
Public Private Partnership to scale up the operation of the private
Jaiyeola commended the government on its several efforts to ensure
that the ease of doing business in the country continued to improve.
Jaiyeola suggested outright privatisation and concession of public
assets to reduce government’s burden and to block leakages.
He also suggested leveraging on technology to block such leakages