By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted that Nigeria’s economy will experience a growth rate of about 8 percent this year.
The global financial institution made this known in its latest report released on Tuesday.
According to the report, the increase would be influenced by both the sustained growth in the agricultural sector and recovery in oil production.
In the report titled ‘World Economic Outlook, April 2017: Gaining Momentum?’, the IMF also projected that the world economy would grow by 3.5 percent in 2017 from 3.1 percent in 2016 and rise to 3.6 percent in 2018.
It however warned major players in the world economy not to raise trade barriers as this could result into a problem.
IMF noted that a long-awaited cyclical recovery in investment, manufacturing, and trade have caused global economic activity to pick up.
It said “structural impediments to a stronger recovery and a balance of risks that remains tilted to the downside, especially over the medium term, remain important challenges,” noting that “changes in external conditions may affect the pace of income convergence between advanced and emerging market and developing economies.”
The IMF stressed the need for credible strategies in advanced economies and emerging market and developing ones to tackle a number of common challenges in an integrated global economy.
The Economic Counsellor and Director of the Research Department of IMF, Mr Maurice Obstfeld, stated that, “Growth is projected to rise to 2.6 percent in 2017 and 3.5 percent in 2018, largely driven by specific factors in the largest economies, which faced challenging macroeconomic conditions in 2016.”
Mr Obstfeld noted that a slump in commodity price in 2016 and devastating drought had affected growth in several countries in the Sub-Sahara Africa, resulting in 1.4 percent growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He said that South Africa, which was hit by slow growth in 2016, was expected to register a slight improvement of 0.8 percent, up from 0.3 percent in 2016, as the impact of devastating drought was beginning to recede and electricity capacity improved.