Speaking at the 6th Annual pan-Africa 1:1 investor conference held in Lagos, ON Monday, the bank’s Global Chief Economist, Charles Robertson noted that Nigeria’s recently successful general elections was a grand opportunity to steer the country towards the right direction.
He said: “We believe Nigeria will be a $1 trillion economy by 2025, and it will keep doubling in size every 10 years. Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita is likely to reach around $15,000 by 2050.
Following the April elections, the new government represents the best opportunity in recent years to push forward reform for Africa’s largest economy.”
Robertson also said kudos should be given to the current administration for its efforts to maintain a relatively stable debt profile, compared to the country’s West African neighbour, Ghana, which borrowed heavily when oil prices were high. Now that oil prices have gone down, Ghana’s debts profile is not looking good, while Nigeria’s is still good enough to attract foreign investors, he added.
Although, with the nation’s reserves have dwindled to about $30 billion, Robertson admitted that the current administration could have done better managing the economy, “but things could have been much worse if the country had borrowed like Ghana,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, Professor Patrick Utomi, outlined some of his expectations from the incoming government and listed some key factors of economic progress to include: diversification from oil and integration of the longitudinal zones.
He encouraged the incoming Buhari’s government to adopt new core values, “where emphasis of policies should move towards the well-being of average citizens rather than special interest groups.”
He also touched on the need to empower the private sector, noting that they “should be seen as the driver for the government’s special interest in the common good.”
The one time presidential candidate went on to list the drivers of progress in any economy. These he noted include leadership, culture, entrepreneurship, human capital, strong institutions and policy choices, even as he encouraged the incoming administration to look into every of these factors in delivering its election promises to the people.
“The coming years – challenging as they might be – would be years of great hope,” he said, concluding in a rousing, uplifting tone.
Meanwhile, Renaissance Capital, which continues to grow massively in emerging and frontier markets like Africa and Asia, believe that there is a lot of potential, not just in Nigeria, but on the African continent.
The bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Igor Vayn enthused: “We are confident in the vast, untapped development potential of African countries, fueled by expanding economies and a growing customer base. Since we first launched here (Lagos) in 2007, we have maintained our deep commitment to grow our presence on the ground.”