Recession-hit Nigeria targets economy to grow at annual 7 percent by 2020

An electricity pylons carries power cables above residential property as traffic passes across a bridge from Isale Eko on Lagos Island towards the mainland in Lagos, Nigeria, on Monday, Oct. 26, 2015. Nigeria plans to create a $25 billion fund with public and private financing to modernize infrastructure and avoid a recession, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said. Photographer: George Osodi/Bloomberg

ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria is targeting economic growth of at least 7 percent a year by 2020, the Ministry of Budget and National Planning said on Tuesday, a far cry from its current recession, the first in 25 years.

Nigeria’s economy is heavily dependent on exports of crude oil and is undermined by decades of endemic corruption, It has been hobbled by low global oil prices that have slashed government revenues and the availability of foreign currency.

In the third quarter of 2016, gross domestic product contracted 2.24 percent from a year earlier.

With inflation also at an 11-year high, frustration is rising, with protesters taking to the streets of Lagos on Monday to call for a change in government.

The 7 percent target for gross domestic product growth is part of a medium-term economic recovery plan that seeks to address some of Nigeria’s issues, the budget ministry said in a statement.

“Our goal is to have an economy with low inflation, stable exchange rates, and a diversified and inclusive growth,” Minister of Budget and National Planning Udoma Udo Udoma said at an economic forum on Monday, where he addressed private enterprise, according to the statement.

The plan’s priorities are agriculture and food security, energy, small businesses and industrialisation and stabilising the macroeconomic environment, the minister said.

“Nigerian growth faces various supply constraints including fuel, power, foreign exchange, and even business unfriendly regulation,” the statement said, adding that the recovery plan would seek to address these issues.


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