With the glaring abject poverty and poor standard of living experienced by a large percentage of the population in almost every part of the country, it is hard to believe the Federal Government’s declaration that Nigeria’s economy is the third fastest growing economy in the world.
According to Vanguard News reports, the Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yerima Ngama declared after a Federal Executive Council Meeting in Abuja yesterday that Nigeria has recorded a GDP growth of 7.68% thereby putting us at the third position in the fast growing economies of the world. At the first position is Mongolia with 14.9% real growth rate, and second, China with 8.4% real GDP growth rate. The Minister who presented a report on the country’s presentation during the recently concluded Islamic Development Bank Congress in Khartoum, Sudan noted that the growth noticed in the non-oil sector was particularly impressive, adding that government would continue to work on improving the economy.
“The previous year, 2010, the GDP growth was 8.4 per cent but last year, it dropped to 7.68 per cent because we had a negative growth in the oil sector. So, it means that the non-oil sector is actually resilient and strong enough to carry the economy forward with or without the oil sector.
This actually placed us as the third fastest growing economy in the world, the first being Mongolia with 14. 9 per cent real growth rate, then China with 8.4 per cent real GDP growth rate followed by Nigeria with 7.68 per cent.”
He further stated that with Vision 202020, Nigeria has the objective of having one of the world’s strongest economies by year 2020. Also that apart from China, other countries that are ahead of Nigeria are growing at a slower rate meaning Nigeria could be one of the strongest economies in the world in the next eight years.
I used to think that a fast-growing and vibrant economy translates to less poverty, more jobs, adequate security, higher life expectancy, and many more that Nigeria is clearly lacking. With a larger percent of the population living under $1 per day; with people – men, women and children living in hunger; with people dying every day because they are unable to pay medical bills; with the teeming population of unemployed youths, I can’t understand this declaration and how it translates to better standard of living for Nigerians.
But maybe I am just being sentimental. Maybe my dear BN readers should please educate me. How can we have the third fastest growing economy in the world and still have such lack and poverty staring at us in our faces? I ran a search for the world’s poorest nations and Nigeria came up at the 28th position according to United Nations ranking.
The Minister also claimed that the non-oil sector can carry the country forward with or without the oil sector. How can this be true when there are no jobs, few manufacturing industries and heavy dependence on the revenue gotten from export of crude oil?
So, what do you think? Do you believe that Nigeria has the third fastest growing economy in the world? And if you do, how does it tally with the lack and poverty clearly seen in the country?
Please share your thoughts.
News Source: Vanguard News