By Bashir Olanrewaju
The World Bank said Nigeria is a facing a choice to either follow through reforms to turn its economy around or risk falling into the worst recession in 40 years.
“Nigeria is at a critical historical juncture, with a choice to make, ” Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank country director in Nigeria, said the the statement. “Nigeria can choose to break decisively from business-as-usual, and rise to its considerable potential by sustaining the bold reforms that have been taken thus far.
Without sustaining urgent reforms, there could be a reversal of decades of economic growth within the next three years as the country sinks into its worst recession since the 1980s, according to the report. Only the right mix of policy steps along with sustained reforms will help Nigeria avoid this path , according to the report.
With the economic devastation brought by the coronavirus pandemic, the report estimates that as many as 7 million Nigerians will fall into poverty in the next two years.
Nigeria is seeking more than 3 billion dollars in loans as budget support from the Washington- based institution, with about half going to the states.
A tranche of 1.5 billion dollars meant for the federal government was met with shareholders request for more information on specific plans reverse the current contraction and return the economy to growth, Chaudhuri, the country director, said on Thursday on a web webinar.
A key concern of the World Bank is said to be the multiple exchange-rate system operated by the Central Bank of Nigeria, as the Nigerian government’s commitment toward a unified system is being sought.