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Sunday, April 2, 2023

Nigeria lost roughly N27 trillion in economic output under Buhari

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As President Muhammadu Buhari celebrates his 6th year of being the democratic President of Nigeria, it is his poor economic scorecard that may expose reasons for the rise in crime and insecurity in the country.

Under the leadership of President Buhari, Nigeria has entered and recovered from 2 economic recessions in his 6 years as President, causing the average economic growth since 2015 to be a messily 0.71 percent in a country where annual population growth is estimated around 2.6 percent.

As the population growth continues to outpace the economic growth combined with significant devaluations in Naira in the last 6 years, Nigeria has seen its citizens increasingly fall under the poverty line at its fastest pace in decades.

Compare the 0.71 percent average annual economic growth in Nigeria since 2015 to the 6.52 percent average economic growth in the 6 years prior to 2015, and you can understand the frustrations of a lot of Nigerians.

On average, Nigeria has lost around 5.8 percent annually in lost economic growth due to the poor economic performance in the country since the current Nigerian President took charge.

Analysts say that Nigeria has now lost a total of around N27 trillion in economic output in the last 6 years due to abnormally low economic growth. In 2014, real Gross Domestic Product stood at N67.15 trillion according to the Central Bank of Nigeria.

If the growth performance continued on the trajectory, it was growing in the 6 years prior to 2015, then the GDP ought to have reached N98 trillion by 2020.

However, real GDP stood at N70.8 trillion in 2020, representing a growth performance of less than N3 trillion in 6 years compared to the N27 trillion growth expected over the same period.

The slowdown in economic growth has led to an unprecedented increase in unemployment, poverty and misery index in Nigeria. As at the end of 2020, unemployment rate in Nigeria had jumped to 33.3 percent compared to just 6.4 percent at the end of 2014.

The N27 trillion lost were jobs that could have been created and retained, wealth that could have been created and productivity that could have kept inflationary pressures under control.

However, economic indicators show that the squeeze on the economic productivity, livelihood and security of Nigerians may continue if the government’s policies fail to lift economic growth back to the 6 percent levels it was prior to 2015.

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