Nigeria needs to grow its economy by 46 per cent over the next 34 years in order to avert social crisis, the Financial Services Advisory Leader and Chief Economist, PricewaterhouseCoopers Nigeria, Andrew Nevin, has warned.
He cautioned that the country would continue to be poor if the economy grows at two per cent annually, considering that the projected annual population and working age population rates would be the highest in the world from 2016 to 2050.
Nevin, who spoke at the 2017 Fellows’ Luncheon of the Institute of Directors in Lagos on Thursday, said that Nigeria needed significant Foreign Direct Investment to bridge the infrastructure deficit estimated at over $100bn over the next 10 years.
He said that half of the $100bn deficit would be derived from FDIs, while the other half would come from the government.
Nevin said, “Nigeria’s population alone is estimated to be around 400 million in 2050, equivalent to around 56 per cent of Europe’s population, making it the third most populous country in the world.
“To get 46 per cent growth rate, we need a lot of investment. When we invest only 15 per cent, we are only replacing depreciation. We don’t have enough investment in Nigeria; half of $100bn has to come from Nigeria. There is not enough money spent by the Federal Government to make a dent in the investment needs. Unless we liberalise the foreign exchange regime, we cannot go anywhere near FDI in Nigeria.”
While emphasising the importance of funding for the implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan of the government, he said it would require about $400bn for infrastructural development over the implementation period.
The Chief Executive Officer, MainOne Cable, Ms. Funke Opeke, who also spoke on the theme: ‘2017 budget implementation and challenges,’ noted that most economies that had been transformed recently were built on technology.
She said the ICT had made significant contributions to the country’s Gross Domestic Product due to the hard work of major players in the sector.
According to her, expansion of technology infrastructure is being hindered by heavy taxes imposed by the federal and state governments.