How lack of infrastructure stalls Nigeria’s growth, by IMF’s chief

NIGERIA’s slow economic growth has been linked to lack of infrastructure. According to the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, infrastructural gaps, particularly in the power sector was responsible for holding Nigeria back from its full growth potentials. According to her, Nigeria’s electricity generation capacity, for example, is just 10 per cent that of South Africa’s, while Nigeria’s population is more than thrice greater. Lagarde added that high unemployment was also a critical economic and social issue, stressing that, “this is especially true for Nigeria’s young people for whom the rate of unemployment is over 35 per cent. So, economic growth alone will not suffice. Job creation will be critical to ensuring that growth is both economically and socially sustainable.”

Lagarde, who spoke at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos during a roundtable discussion with stakeholders on the second day of her visit to Africa, also mentioned three aspects of the government’s agenda as being crucial to the economic rebirth. She said: “One, better management of Nigeria’s vast natural resource wealth; establishing the Sovereign Wealth Fund and emphasizing the use of oil revenues for stabilisation and investment are important advancements. Pressing ahead with these reforms is particularly important given the external environment – namely, the need to rebuild fiscal buffers.”


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