91 million Nigerians afflicted by poverty- NESG Chairman 

The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Asue Ighodalo has said that 91 million Nigerians are afflicted by ‘poverty virus’ which it said is more infectious than Covid-19.
Ighodalo who said this at the launch of the 2022 Macro  Economic Outlook, also called on the federal government to fastrack policies that will drive economic growth
He said 2021 marked the gradual recovery of the global economy from the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, notwithstanding the emergence of multiple virus variants.
The recovery according to him was largely attributable to determined and focused global vaccination campaigns and rollouts, despite the significant disparities across continents.
“In Africa, only about 15 percent of the population have been vaccinated with 10 percent fully vaccinated compared with the rates seen in the West (with 51 percent fully vaccinated in Europe and 62 percent in the United States) as of January 17, 2022.
“With our government’s effective management of the pandemic, fiscal boosters and the public/private sector response to COVID-19, the economy recovered by 0.5 percent, 5 percent, and 4 percent in the first three quarters of 2021, despite our low vaccination rate.
“However, our peculiar economic comorbidities gravely threaten a full economic rebound. We continue to grapple with multiple macroeconomic challenges, exchange rate volatility, fiscal constraints, market distortions, high inflation, an unattractive investment environment (with security concerns at the core of investor reticence) as well as infrastructure deficits.
“The abatement of these impediments must be addressed with a sense of urgency, and the implementation of immediate economic reforms must be prioritised to promote higher productivity, achieve economic efficiency, and deepen inclusive development.
“The World Bank estimates that an additional one million people were pushed into poverty in Nigeria between June and November 2021, resulting in a total of about 8 million people being relinquished to poverty in 2021; and bringing our nation’s poverty headcount to about 91 million.
“That is 91 million Nigerians afflicted by the ‘poverty virus’, which is every bit as deadly and more infectious than SARS COVID-19, judging by the numbers”, he said.
Furthermore, the NESG Chairman noted that being a pre election year, 2022 would witness increased monetary spendings and effective governance will no longer be in place as active politics will take centre Stage.
“Nigeria must thrive to leave behind and create a solid foundation for catalystic solid base to secure the future of Nigeria there must be a fierce urgency of now.
“There is still a window and navigable resolve and work assiduously to initiate the economic reforms that will jumpstart Economic Growth,” he stated.
While presenting the economic outlook, the Head of Research, NESG, Dr. Olusegun Onisakin stated that the finance act 2020, adoption of investors and exporters exchange rate, Twitter ban, Omicron, as well as the Petroleum Industry Act, shaped economic trajectory in 2021.
Highlighting the events of 2021, he said “The fact that inflation is coming down doesn’t mean that prices are not increasing. One in every three Nigerian is unemployed. Also the capacity of FG to earn revenue was constrained due to domestic borrowing.
“CBN has been trying to work modalities for growth, but we are importing more than we are exporting and also struggling with FDI has been totally eroded,”
He said “Different Policy events will influence the economy such as implementation of national development plan, removal of fuel subsidy, election spending that may over bloat fiscal deficit, launch of Dangote refinery among others.
The NESG CEO Laoye Jaiyeola said the interest of the NESG is the  economy and what government must do to make it better.
He commended the Nigerian Government for launching the development plan because it was inclusive, he however stressed that it is not about the plan but the implementation, urging government to ensure adequate implementation.
Speaking further, he called on government to solve the challenges of forex, saying ” If we don’t resolve the challenge of FX, we may not achieve of the last mile, the demand is higher the supply and government must ensure how we boost supply and ensure appropriate pricing,”
“Our Ports remain the less attractive in the continent and if that is not rectified,  AfCFTA will not be achieved holistically because logistics cost alone is too high”, he added. (Nigerian Tribune)

Related Posts

Leave a feedback

%d bloggers like this: