President Muhammadu Buhari has said that Nigeria is on course to take her rightful place in the global economy.
He stated that a report by PriceWaterhouse Coopers shows that Nigeria could become World’s 14th fastest growing economy in the next 28 years.
Already, he said, Nigeria with a population of 200 million has the largest economy in Africa with over $400 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He spoke at the Nigeria International Economic Partnership Forum, one of the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). in New York, the United States .yesterday.
The President also highlighted the gains of his administration’s investment in the security and energy sectors as well as Nigeria’s National Development Plan (2021 – 2025). He said the development plan would help to generate 21 million full-time jobs and lift 35 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2025.
Buhari, who was represented by his Chief of Staff Ibrahim Gambari, assured that the projection by PriceWaterhouse Coopers’s report was achievable going by the fact that Nigeria is presently experiencing economic growth driven mostly by the non-oil sector.
Buhari explained to the participants who were mostly investors and Nigeria’s financial partners, that the current economic growth gives credence to the diversification of the nation’s revenue base by his administration.
His words: “According to PriceWaterhouse Coopers, Nigeria could be the fastest growing African economy by 2050, and could move up the global GDP ratings to 14th in the same year, provided we succeed in our efforts to diversify Nigeria’s economy away from oil and strengthen its institutions and infrastructure.
“The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects global growth to slow from an estimated 6.1 percent in 2021 to 3.6 percent in 2022 and 2023.
“For our economy, we recorded quarterly GDP growth in Q1 2022. The growth has been mostly driven by the non-oil sector, giving credence to the revenue source diversification agenda of the government.
“The agricultural sector, our most important, has remained resilient in spite of security concerns, low irrigation, limited inputs, and legacy infrastructure challenges, with strong food demand bolstering growth.
“Growth in manufacturing reflected stronger household and business consumption on account of the reopening of economic activities and improvement in supply chains.”
Buhari said the present growth in the service sector was promising, adding that privatisation, foreign investment, globalisation, and competition would further stimulate economic growth.
The President, however, admitted revenue underperformance and promised to intensify action to address the challenge.
Buhari said the economy was ripe for increased investment.
“But on the contrary, private capital flows into Nigeria, consisting mainly of Foreign Direct Investment, have slowed, hindering the financing of much-needed infrastructure and natural resource access projects. My Administration is already working on innovative ways to restore these flows,” the president added.
He said a key strategy being adopted was the Integrated National Financing Strategy to identify ways to expand the financing envelope of the Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria, integrate and align public and private financial policies.
Buhari said Nigeria’s National Development Plan (2021 – 2025) would generate 21 million full-time jobs and lift 35 million people out of poverty by 2025.
This, according to him, will set the stage for achieving the government’s commitment to lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.
He said: “To attain the objectives of the National Development Plan (2021 – 2025), we estimate that we would require an investment commitment of about N348 trillion. Government capital expenditure during the period will be N49.7 trillion (14.3 percent) while the balance of N298.3 trillion (85.7 percent) is expected from the private sector.
“Of the 14.3 percent government contribution, Federal Government capital expenditure will be N29.6 trillion (8.5 percent) while the Sub-National Governments’ capital expenditure is estimated to be about N20.1 trillion (5.8 percent).
“The successful implementation of this plan will, therefore, be heavily dependent on strong partnerships between the private and public sector, both within and with Development Partners outside Nigeria.”
On the power sector, which he described as a major catalyst for Nigeria’s industrialisation, Buhari said the 614-kilometre Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline project would “enhance our energy security.”
At a Leaders’ Closed-Door Meeting on Climate Change, convened by the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Antonio Guterres, the President further shed light on efforts made by his administration to enhance security and power supply.
Buhari added that the energy transition plan will integrate renewable energy forms to generate 250 Gigawatts of installed energy capacity with over 90 percent made up of renewables.
He said in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, that his administration had last month launched a home-grown, data-backed, multi-pronged energy transition plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2060.