NIGERIA: FG Advised to Look Beyond GDP Rebasing

The federal government has been advised to look beyond the recent rebasing of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and focus on policies that will bring about inclusive growth.

 A member of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), Prof. Abdul-Ganiyu Garba made this remark while speaking at an ongoing seminar for financial journalists in Kaduna yesterday.

 The exercise had placed the size of the Nigerian economy as first in Africa and 26th in the world. With the rebased nominal GDP, the size of the Nigerian economy in terms of GDP was put at about $509 billion, displacing South Africa with a GDP of $370.3 billion at the end of 2013.

 “There are things that are deeper than the rebasing that we must focus on. There are bigger things that we should like at other than the rebasing.

 “I do know it gives us bragging rights, but we need to see beyond bragging. We must identify the things that are important to the transformation of the economy,” Garba who is of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria said.

 In his presentation tagged: “GDP Rebasing and Implications for FSS: 2020,” the Head, Financial System Strategy (FSS) 2020, CBN, Engr. Oluwatoyin Jokosenumi noted that the new GDP figure would enable Nigeria to join the ranks of middle-income countries.

 Nigeria used to be classified as low income economy, which it has vacated with the new rebased figures.

 The rebasing has thrown up sectors which were not there and unaccounted for. This will attract investors in such sectors thereby promoting growth in the long run.

 The rebasing exercise has captured the structural changes in the economy
 “For Nigeria's fiscal sector, rebasing will improve the debt-to-GDP ratio, currently less than 20 per cent and expose a weaker tax base.

 “The Financial System Strategy (FSS) 2020 is a national reform program aimed at developing and transforming Nigeria’s financial sector into a growth catalyst to fast track the achievement of the Vision 20:2020 and engineer Nigeria’s evolution into an International Financial Centre,” Jokosenumi added.

 He stressed the need to attract affordable international credit to fund affordable housing programmes, even as he supported the move to create a mortgage refinance company.

 Furthermore he stressed the need for an increase in the provision of long term low interest financing for small and medium scale enterprises to thrive.

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