Economic expert predicts that Nigeria’s economy will reach $1 trillion in the next 10 years
RENAISSANCE Capital, one of the leading investment banking firms in Nigeria, has predicted that the country’s economy will hit $1 trillion by the year 2025. Charles Robertson, global chief economist of the bank, at the 6th Annual pan-Africa 1:1 investor conference held in Lagos, on Monday, May 18, said Nigeria’s recently successful general elections was a grand opportunity to steer the country towards the right direction.
“We believe Nigeria will be a $1 trillion economy by 2025, and it will keep doubling in size every 10 years. Gross domestic product, GDP, per capita is likely to reach around $15,000 by 2050. Following the April elections, the new government represents the best opportunity in recent years to push forward reform for Africa’s largest economy,” he said.
According to Robertson, kudos should be given to the current administration for its efforts to maintain a relatively stable debt profile, compared to the country’s West African neighbour, Ghana, which borrowed heavily when oil prices were high. He added that now that oil prices have gone down, Ghana’s debts profile is not looking good, while Nigeria’s is still good enough to attract foreign investors.
Although, with the nation’s reserves dwindled to more than $30 billion, Robertson admitted that the current administration could have done better managing the economy, “but things could have been much worse if the country had borrowed like Ghana.”
Also, Patrick Utomi, founder/CEO, Centre for Values in Leadership, CVL, outlined some of his expectations from the incoming government and listed some key factors of economic progress to include: diversification from oil and integration of the longitudinal zones.
He encouraged the incoming government to adopt new core values, where emphasis of policies should move towards the well-being of average citizens rather than special interest groups. He also touched on the need to empower the private sector, noting that they should be seen as the driver for the government’s special interest in the common good. Utomi went on to list the drivers of progress in any economy. These, he noted include leadership, culture, entrepreneurship, human capital, strong institutions and policy choices, even as he encouraged the incoming administration to look into every of these factors in delivering its election promises to the people. “The coming years – challenging as they might be – would be years of great hope,” he said, concluding in a rousing, uplifting tone.
Meanwhile, Renaissance Capital, which continues to grow massively in emerging and frontier markets like Africa and Asia, believe that there is a lot of potential, not just in Nigeria, but on the African continent. Igor Vayn, chief executive officer of the bank, said: “We are confident in the vast, untapped development potential of African countries, fuelled by expanding economies and a growing customer base. Since we first launched here (Lagos) in 2007, we have maintained our deep commitment to grow our presence on the ground.”
Renaissance Capital was not the first banking firm to predict that Nigeria economy would improve by 2025. On September 30, 2014, Martyn Davies, South African economist and chief executive officer, Frontier Advisory Limited, South Africa, equally predicted that the Nigerian economy will hit $1 trillion by 2025. Davies made the prediction at the opening of the 2014 Africa Hotel Investment Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
He noted that the Nigeria’s economy being the largest on the African continent in terms of size is currently leading South Africa by 20 percent. Davies, however, advised Nigeria to take advantage of her demography and invest to diversify its economy, which is largely dependent on oil export. “The political economy of Africa is increasingly becoming complex, making the Africa rising narrative no longer applicable to development needs, when viewed through multiple lenses,’’ he said.
According to Davies, GDP was no longer a measure for growth, saying growth had become complex comprising of diversification and quality not just quantity. He insisted that both government and the private sector must invest heavily in basic infrastructure and manufacturing to hasten industrialisation, and sustain its growth among emerging economies. The expert also canvassed for economic friendly legislation to attract investments given the advantage of population of young persons and markets. Frontier Advisory is a leading research, strategy and advisory firm that specialised in Global emerging markets.