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Nigeria has revised down its forecast for 2017 economic growth to 1.5 per cent from 2.19 per cent, according to a document reportedly seen by Reuters on Thursday.
The report said oil production, on which Nigeria relies for about two-thirds of government revenues, was at 1.9 million barrels per day for 2017, as of July, against an estimated 2.2 million barrels per day.
Titled ‘The 2018-2020 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper,’ the document was prepared by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning and is dated August 2017.
The International Monetary Fund last week affirmed its earlier forecast of only 0.8 per cent growth for Nigeria this year, indicating that the government’s projection of 2.19 per cent growth in the economy for 2017 was unrealistic.
This is well below the global economic growth projection of 3.6 per cent, a slight increase from the 3.5 per cent earlier projected in July.
The IMF had earlier predicted the exit of Nigeria from recession this year with an economic growth of 0.8 per cent, but warned that threats to recovery remained elevated, and that the economy would not grow enough to reduce unemployment and poverty.
The IMF then advised the Federal Government to pursue a policy of fiscal consolidation through higher non-oil revenues, to ensure stability in growth.
Nigeria slipped into a recession last year as low crude oil prices and production slashed government revenues, caused dollar shortages and crippled the nation’s economy.
The IMF had said, “Economic growth in Nigeria is expected to recover slightly to 0.8 per cent this year after the country slipped into its first recession in more than two decades last year.”