World Bank warns Nigeria against dependence on oil

The World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, Thursday, called on the governments of Nigeria and other developing countries to urgently make critical investments that would shield their economies from sudden shocks in the global economy in the years ahead, warning that the GDP growth that saw the country out of recession was too lean for comfort.

In his opening remarks at the 2017 annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, Kim urged the Nigerian government to rethink its development strategies by investing more on people rather than focussing its energies on oil sales and other activities that do not engender real growth.

He said: “Nigeria has to think ahead… the conversation we need to have with Nigeria, in many ways, has to do with investments in human capital. The percentage to GDP that Nigeria spends on education is less than one per cent.

With the challenge in the northern part of the country and the heat on the economy by the drop in oil prices, Nigeria has to think ahead and invest more in its people. The things that will help the economy to grow rapidly should be what the country has to focus on. You can’t just rely on oil prices. What the country should focus on are the resources of growth for future. And this is true for most African countries”

Kim’s advice came against the backdrop of a new report in Africa’s Pulse, a bi-annual analysis of the state of African economies conducted by the World Bank which noted that the economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa was recovering at a modest pace, and projected to peak up to 2.4 per cent in 2017 from 1.3 per cent in 2016, which remains below the April forecast of 2.6 per cent.

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