Nigeria’s minister of budget and national planning, Udoma Udo has said the Nigerian economy will grow by 3.01 percent in 2019 — at variance with the World Bank’s forecast of 2.2 percent in the same year.
Speaking during the Deloitte Dialogue on Nigeria’s Economic Outlook for 2019, in Lagos, Udoma said the proposed 2019 budget is intended to further reposition the economy on the path of faster, inclusive, diversified and sustainable growth, and to continue to lift significant numbers of our citizens out of poverty.
He explained that inflation is expected to trend downwards to single digit of 9.98 percent in 2019 from 11.44 percent as at December 2018.
He said this will be possible with the improved coordination of fiscal and monetary policies, exchange rate stability, improved oil export earnings and capital inflows, as well as the continuation of the current prudent management of foreign exchange reserves by the CBN.
“Government is committed to growing the economy, and accordingly the 2019 Budget Proposal has been designed to continue to provide the stimulus and support required to spur growth in the economy,” he said.
He said though the current real GDP growth performance is still a little sluggish, which is expected as we are just recovering from recession, it however indicates a positive momentum, especially with regard to the growth of the non-oil sector.
“Our aim is to take all measures necessary to ensure that we increase the growth rate whilst maintaining fiscal sustainability.”
Explaining the basis for the oil price projections in the budget, the Minister said oil prices depend on the interaction between supply and demand for oil in international markets.
It is, however, the supply-side factors that have been mainly responsible for the price increase in 2018 and the recent decline, he added.
Although Crude oil price soared in the second half of 2018, rising as high as US$81.20/b on September 24, 2018 – a four year high – it declined towards the end of 2018, falling below the 2019 budget benchmark of US$60/b