Must Nigeria’s path to growth involve excessive borrowing?
Nigeria’s path to growth and excessive borrowing

Saying the last six years have been tough for the Nigerian economy might be an understatement, but tough doesn't capture the impact of having two recessions in six years.

Although there is no stipulated duration for how long it takes countries to recover from recessions (the opposite of economic growth), given that Nigeria is yet to return to its 2015 real per capita income levels, it's clear the country is yet to recover.

Key takeaways:

  1. The early 2000s were a year of rapid growth for Nigeria, given its status as a developing economy and the policies that restructured the economy and grew productive sectors like ICT. 

  2. Nigeria’s status as an emerging and developing economy comes from the base effect of having nascent sectors which attract investment and lead to growth in other sectors. Hence, it is positioned to attract investment and earn rapid growth. 

  3. The second reason for Nigeria's rapid growth at the time was a combination of factors that aligned perfectly in the country's favour: economic restructuring due to key policy reforms, high oil prices and low debt.


In real life, the implications of these recessions are businesses shutting down, increased unemployment, and more people being plunged into poverty. The World Bank reported that 40% of Nigerians employed in non-farm enterprises lost some of their income in 2020. Also, the most recent data on poverty reveals that over 60% of Nigerians are multidimensionally poor.

Therefore, economic growth is critical to

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Gbemisola Alonge

Gbemisola Alonge

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