From OKORO CHINEDU in Lagos, Nigeria
LAGOS, (CAJ News) – PREVAILING economic conditions in Nigeria as well as deliberations on prospects for the economy have formed the basis for exchange of views on the 2016 African Economic Outlook (AEO).
The AEO was launched by the Nigeria Country Office of the African Development Bank at an outreach event held at the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria.
The theme of the 2016 AEO is “Sustainable Cities and Structural Transformation.”
The report looks closely at Africa’s distinctive pathways towards urbanisation, and how this is increasingly shifting economic resources to more productive activities.
In his remarks, the Country Director of African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) Nigeria Office, Ousmane Dore, emphasised the importance of the report.
“It significantly informs policy dialogue and feeds into the design of Bank’s projects to support government priorities,” Dore said.
According to the report, Nigeria has experienced a sluggish economic growth of 2,8 percent since the end of 2015.
AfDB Lead Economist, Barbara Barungi, reported that the economy had contracted further by 0,36 percent in the first quarter of 2016, while inflation continued to rise, standing at 16,5 percent.
Policy reforms by the new administration are highlighted. They include strong fiscal policy, improvements in public sector transparency and accountability, as well as adoption of a more flexible exchange rate.
Nigeria has been rapidly urbanising, with fast-growing cities such as Kano and Lagos facing increasing unemployment and income inequality due to poor urban planning and weak links between structural transformation and urbanisation.
Urbanisation, the report states, is a megatrend that is transforming African societies but this is not accompanied by structural
transformation, and therefore industrialisation remains slow.
– CAJ News