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Nigeria growth lags Africa, World Bank says

06/15/2021 | 11:41am EDT

Nigeria's economy is lagging the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, the World Bank warned on Tuesday (June 15).

In a six monthly update on Africa's biggest economy, the organization said growth had resumed following the shock of the global health crisis but that food inflation, insecurity, and stalled reforms are slowing growth and increasing poverty.

The World Bank gave a GDP growth forecast for Nigeria of 1.9% this year and 2.1% next year, compared with 3.4% and 4.0% respectively for sub-Saharan Africa.

Lead economist Marco Hernandez said inflation, especially in food prices, was exacerbating poverty.

And he said increased insecurity - including mass abductions at schools, kidnappings for ransom and various insurgencies - was a drag on growth and job creation.

Such issues were at the heart of protests at the weekend during which police fired tear gas and arrested several demonstrators.

Among placards calling for President Muhammadu Buhari to go were signs also decrying the state of the economy and the country's 33.3% unemployment rate.

The economic crisis is expected to push 11 million Nigerians into poverty by 2022, Hernandez said.

That would take the total number of people classified as poor to over 100 million, or more than half Nigeria's population.


ę Reuters 2021
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