Population surge to spur Nigerian economic growth by 2.6% in “subdued” recovery, IMF says

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LAGOS -Nigeria’s economy is likely to grow by 2.6% this year in a “subdued” recovery from last year’s recession, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Friday.

The fund, which had said it was likely to revise up its 1.5% growth projection for 2021, said the pace of recovery was still limited, given Nigeria’s rising population.

“This is just above the population growth rate, implying stagnant per capita income in the medium term,” it said.

The IMF, in a statement following a mission to Africa’s largest economy, also repeated its long-running calls to scrap costly fuel and electricity subsidies and said some reforms were needed as soon as possible.

“Major reforms in fiscal, exchange rate, trade and governance are needed to alter the long-running lacklustre growth path,” it said.

Nigeria’s economy grew just over 4% in the third quarter, the statistics office said earlier this week, the fourth consecutive quarter of growth.