The International Monetary Fund predicted on Tuesday that Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate would fall to its lowest point in 29 years.
IMF said the Nigerian economy would shrink by 1.8 percent in 2016, and grow by only 1.1 percent in 2016, affirming arguments that Nigeria is currently in a recession, and will be throughout 2016.
However, this is just a forecast. As Nigerians, we still have our destinies in our hands, and possess the potential to upturn the odds in our favour.
These seven Nigerians captured below can upturn the economic woes in just a few months:
As put together by The Cable…
1. BABATUNDE FASHOLA
According to Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank, lack of electricity shaves off about four percent of Africa’s GDP. The figure for Nigeria is projected at 5% of GDP.
Fixing power in any Africa economy is a GDP magic. It may be next-to-impossible to fix Nigeria’s power situation six months, but considerable progress could drive growth drastically.
With IMF particularly highlighting low power generation as a cause of economic contraction, high power generation can directly bring economic expansion.
Fashola, as minister of power, at his best, can make this happen – if resources are made available.
2. GODWIN EMEFIELE
The second major issue raised by the IMF, which Nigerian economic analysts can attest to is the foreign currency scarcity currently being experienced in Nigeria.
The foreign exchange policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is pivotal to the availability of forex in the Nigerian system.
If Godwin Emefiele and the CBN monetary policy committee find a way of fixing forex scarcity in the short term, GDP growth may just be on the cards in 2016.
3. NIGER DELTA AVENGERS
Low oil receipt is no doubt the single biggest reason for the contraction of the Nigerian economy. If we have oil forex, forex scarcity can be fixed and capital projects on power can also be executed.
Nigeria cannot upturn oil prices, but we can increase our production levels and generate more petrodollar if the Niger Delta avengers leave vengeance to God!
4. BABATUNDE FOWLER
At the presentation of the Nigerian appropriation bill for 2016, President Muhammadu Buhari said only N820billion of the N6.08trillion budget will be funded by petrodollar.
He said the rest would be funded by other sources of revenue generation, especially taxes and other non-oil revenues, handing so much responsibility to Fowler, chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
If Nigeria must experience any economic growth in 2016, it must be able to implement its Keynesian budget. To do that, Fowler’s FIRS must be able to generate sufficient revenue.
5. KEMI ADEOSUN
Nigeria’s youngest minister has one of the heaviest duties in reforming the economy. She has promised fiscal responsibility, and has succeeded in weeding out thousands of ghost workers.
She said in Kaduna last week that she would “make every naira count without placing burden” on any Nigerian.
For Nigeria’s GDP to grow in 2016, Adeosun must give more action to her words and do more within the third and fourth quarter of 2016.
6. HADIZA USMAN
Seaports are one of the largest sources of revenue in many countries of the world. But despite Nigeria’s status as Africa’s largest economy, the country does not have a single port in the top 100 ports in the world.
According to World Port rankings, South Africa has two of the 100 busiest, revenue generating ports in world.
With Usman’s as managing director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), we could either see our port revenue sky rocket or fall to new lows.
It may be difficult in six months, but it is not impossible for Usman’s NPA to add sizable expansion to the Nigerian economy.
7. MUHAMMADU BUHARI
The Nigerian system is designed in a way that puts the direction of the nation on the shoulder of one man; his name: Muhammadu Buhari. Virtually all of Nigeria’s economic decisions lie on the actions and inaction of the president.
Buhari’s negotiations with the Niger Delta Avengers, willingness to grant absolute autonomy to the central bank and take necessary economic decisions – even if it be the devaluation of the naira – will make all the difference in the days to come.
Yemi Osinbajo, vice president and head of the National Economic Council. He is versatile.
Ibe Kachikwu, chairman of NNPC and state minister for petroleum, who fetched $80 billion in deals for infrastructural deficit in the Nigerian oil sector.
Akinwunmi Ambode, governor of Lagos state, which is responsible for over 20 percent of Nigeria’s GDP. Lagos can swing the GDP pendulum in any direction.