By Bimbola Oyesola
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has predicted a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of between three and four per cent for the country in 2018.
This is even as it projected that the external reserves would hit $40 billion mark based on the global oil price averaging $50 per barrel.
In its 2018 economic outlook released, the Chamber also forecast an inflation rate of 13 per cent in the new year.
It explained that the fundamentals of the economy were improving with numerous opportunities and potential to catalyse growth and improve economic recovery.
The Director General of LCCI noted in the report that crude oil prices and output levels have recovered, foreign reserves are improving and inflation is on a steady decline. He stated that it is expected that these impressive outcomes will be sustained into a better part of 2018.
According to him, “given the prevailing economic fundamentals and with government’s commitment to sustain economic reforms, we project GDP growth to record 3 to 4 per cent in 2018.
“Oil price to average around $50 per barrel, external reserves to hit $40 billion mark and headline inflation at 13 per cent.”
The chamber said for the country to sustain its present recovery and achieve the growth forecast, aggressive investment in infrastructure was necessary to boost productivity in the economy.
It added that reduction in multiplicity of exchange rates, alignment of procurement policies at all levels of government to support domestic investment was a required enabler for economic growth.
Yusuf opined that investment, tax and interest rate policy that is business friendly is necessary to protect domestic investors and stimulate economic rebound.
He stressed that current reforms in critical sectors such as power, agriculture, solid minerals and oil and gas should be sustained.
He urged the Federal Government to effectively enforce the Executive Orders signed in May towards improving the way government does business thereby impacting on the business environment.
The chamber maintained that the Secured Transactions in Movable Assets Act and the Credit Reporting Act signed into law in 2017 should be enforced to help unlock credit to investors in this year.