Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Federal Government has expressed satisfaction over the economic outlook by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of Nigeria, especially in 2018.
The government, through the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, said this, in Abuja.
The minister added that from the various presentations made by the leadership of the IMF/World Bank, the overall global outlook for 2018 and 2019 was very positive.
In a statement signed by the Special Adviser on Media, Akpandem James, Udoma stated that, while global growth was projected to rise to 3.9% in both 2018 and 2019, growth in emerging and developing countries is expected to increase from 4.8% in 2017 to 4.9% in 2018 and 5.1% in 2019, the Sub-Saharan Africa, growth is projected to strengthen from 2.8% in 2017 to 3.4% in 2018 and 3.7% in 2019, as the challenging outlook in commodity exporters gradually improves.
Nigeria, in particular, is projected by the IMF in the recent World Economy Outlook (WEO) to grow by 2.1% in 2018, with a dip to 1.9% in 2019.
In a press statement, Udoma further disclosed that “although these are below our national targets, the new forecast is 0.2 percentage point stronger in each year relative to the October WEO forecast and higher than the prospects for other sub-Sahara African countries.”
Addressing the concerns raised by some commentators about the high level of the country’s debt service to revenue ratio, the Minister explained that a number of measures were being taken to shore up revenues, including tax reforms and blocking of leakages. Such reforms include the review of excise duties on alcohol and tobacco and the tax amnesty/VAIDs initiative among others.