The Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives, Bismark Rewane, has projected the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at 2.2 per cent this year, despite the upcoming general elections with its financing distortions.
He posited that the economy’s data would be positive this year, but would only make a difference if only the impact would be felt by the citizens.
Rewane, at the West African Investment Summit, in Lagos, envisaged the nation’s trade balance rising to a positive $9 billion this year from the $7 billion recorded in 2017, noting that Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) are going to be on the decline this year.
“This year, we should think of the impact of the economy and not the economy. We are happy that some international investors were in the summit and they are looking at Nigerian this time. Nigeria just successfully raised $25 billion dollars in addition to the previous euro bond issues.
“This means that at a time like this, 12 months from election, we were still able to raise money at favourable rates, then that’s credit to the federal ministry of finance for its revenue raising strategy but the important thing now is how to apply these revenues and invest it rather than consume it,” he said.
As stated by him, the issue is how to invest them in an impactful manner that would affect the ordinary citizens as the gap between the urban and the rural Nigeria is becoming very clear.
“Generally speaking, the economy is beginning to limp out of recession. It’s not fully back on the track, which means that there is work to be done and to sustain this.
“There is need for the National Assembly to compromise quickly so that the budget can be passed and the government can get to work and everybody can be onboard to ensure that this economy sustains its returns. If not, it’s going to be very difficult as urban unemployment is at 45 per cent.
“Oil revenue will hit $44 billion this year and oil price will fluctuate between $60 and $65 per barrel. There will be money supply growth at 7.2 per cent, though government revenue will be slow but collection will improve through the Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS),” he added.
The economist posited that exchange rate would remain stable within N360 and N370 and interest rate to fall even as the nation gets close to its general election, noting that a downside could be the loss of 10 per cent at a value in a worst case scenario.