Premium Times, December 7, 2016
For Nigeria, the year 2016 was heralded by uncertainties in the overall economy. Nigeria’s economic outlook appeared gloomy, with many pundits signaling signs of doom. Following the astronomical decline in global oil prices in 2015, which continued to fluctuate in the new year, 2016, the economy of Nigeria was negatively impacted, resulting in significant changes in some economic fundamentals. For example, economic growth rate plunged from 6.3 percent recorded in 2014 to 2.7 percent in 2015, and inflation rose from 7.8 percent recorded in 2014 to 9 percent in 2015.
As 2016 draws to an end, the hope of Nigeria being firmly on the road to recovery from economic recession this year has seriously dampened, as the economy continues to contract. The non-oil sector, which is the beacon of hope of the recovery, shrunk further in the third quarter. This does not even suggest a bright prospect for the incoming year. However, although the gale from the economic downturn is blowing heavily, as evident in the economic hardships that the majority of Nigerians are facing and the increased fraudulent activities inspired by the need for survival by any means by many Nigerians, yet there is light glowing at the end of the tunnel. There is hope even in the seemingly hopeless situation. This is a presumption of faith, which is based largely on the expectation that the Federal Government will, somehow, embark on serious policy reforms that will eventually yield positive results that will give the economy the big thrust that it direly needs. Also the expectation that state governments will, somehow, begin to pursue and implement structural reforms that will make states less dependent on federal allocations, for example through investing, increasingly, in infrastructure and closing leakages from revenues as a result of corrupt practices.
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