The emphasis on the significance of reforms as pragmatic methodologies to redressing the structural shanties occasioning the vitiating status of the Nigerian economy, has become topical in recent state-of-the-nation discourse. On Tuesday, at the occasion of the presentation of the Nigeria Development Update, a bi-annual publication of the World Bank on the economic outlook of Nigeria, the Bank has given a resonating clause to this necessity once again. According to the World Bank, sustaining reform momentum in Nigeria is critical to ensuring robust economic recovery beyond 2021. World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, at this June edition of the publication themed: “Resilience Through Reforms,” noted that though Nigeria was at a critical juncture, it had so much potential which had not been realised. Mentioning that the COVID-19 crisis with the pressures on the economy had heightened societal pressure, he noted that Nigeria is faced with interlinked challenges in relation to inflation, limited job opportunities and insecurity. Some of his assertions on the significance of restructuring or policy reforms in a number of areas, occasioned such questions as “What should the Federal Government be doing? What should the sub-national governments be doing and most importantly, what government should not be doing?” “While the government has made efforts to reduce the effect of these by advancing long-delayed policy reforms, it is clear that these reforms will have to be sustained and deepened for Nigeria to realise its development potential,” he was quoted.
In his assertions on the theme of the report, World Bank Lead Economist for Nigeria, Marco Hernandez, posited that reforms were very important to help the Country reach her potential. According to him, it is projected that between 2020 and 2022 there would be a decrease of about 13 per cent in per capita income in comparison with what would have been a situation without COVID-19. He noted that inflation has reduced the purchasing power of Nigerians and had been increasing constantly at a very fast pace, since August 2019 when the borders were closed.
“So we projected in 2021, a 1.9 per cent growth and in 2022 a 2.1 per cent growth for Nigeria, and that is good. However, we do see that it is still below the average rate that we are projecting for Sub-Saharan Africa which is 3.4 per cent in 2021 and four per cent in 2022, so we know that this is good news but there is more potential to come in,” he said.
The necessity for the Government to direct attention towards the parameters of economic sustainability plan through structural redefinition of policy frameworks is paramount. It is non-negotiable that to pull the economy out of the prevailing precipitating directions, metamorphosing parameters must be deployed to blend series of policy reforms in a systemic compendium in response to the prevailing strings navigating against the economy. The necessity for policy sustainability with consistent instruments to assees their complementary workability towards desired objectives must be given premium attention. Harmonising reform measures to effect synchronizing parameters on such critical subjects bordering on fiscal, trade, and monetary policies viz a viz social intervention provisions remains paramount. It is thus demanding on the Government to give more attention to creating working systems to modify the thrust of several policies with conforming instruments to navigate the workability of the parameters towards the desired objectives. The potential to redeem the Nigerian economy to the limelight of buoyancy is realistic, it only behooves the Government to drive the course with systemic navigation of blending the right parameters together with the most efficient standards of economic possibilities.