The United Nations (UN) has projected that Nigeria's economic growth may decline in 2024 due to the country's rising debt, increasing inflation rate, and impact on the welfare of the citizens. The projection was contained in the UN's World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) report for 2024 projects, released Today as reported by the PUNCH.
The WESP is a report produced by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs in partnership with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the five United Nations Regional Commissions.
Nigeria's inflation rate stood at 28.2%, with a debt profile of about N87.38 trillion by the second quarter of 2023 from N49.85 trillion in the first quarter, which amounts to about a 75.35 % increase, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
According to the report, Nigeria's policy reforms enacted in 2023, especially in the hydrocarbon sector, contributed to a moderate improvement in the country's growth prospects for 2024, with a 3.1% Gross Domestic Product growth forecast.
However, the report stated, "ballooning public debt, persistent inflation and a rising cost of living, together with a weak business environment, will pose a downward risk to growth prospects."
Also, the report noted that efforts to boost local oil refining capacity would likely reduce domestic fuel costs in 2024 and beyond. In its latest report, the UN further predicted an improvement in Africa's GDP growth in 2024.