An economist, Dr Abiodun Adedipe has projected that the nation’s double digit inflation rate will remain above 20 per cent and it is likely to be at average of 23.47 per cent in the 2024 financial year.
Adedipe who is the Chief Consultant B. Adedipe Associates Limited made this statement in Lagos during FirstBank Nigeria Economic outlook 2024.
He also said that the naira exchange rate stability envisaged for the first quarter 2024 and it is expected that average official rate would be at N900 per dollar while parallel market would be at N1235 per dollar.
Speaking on the outlook for 2024, he said there would be upward adjustment of the monetary policy rate (MPR) in the first quarter of this year and downward adjustment would start in the second quarter latest by the third quarter of 2024 financial year.
He stated that with inflation rate persistently trending upwards, the Central Bank of Nigeria had to raise the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) and postures the same for the first half of 2024.
He said that notwithstanding, the nation’s economy is desperate for growth, adding that the highest number in Nigeria is food inflation which stood at 32.84 per cent in November 2023, declining year on year from 34.5 per cent in October 2023, rising from 24.13 per cent December 2022, 24.45 per cent in March , 25.25 per cent in June, and standing at 30.64 per cent in September 2023.”
He said that food security should therefore be one of the Nigeria economic development agenda, adding that availability and affordability are two of the four categories of EIU global food security index where the Nigeria ranked poorly in number 97 in 2021 and 107 in 2022 out of 113 countries while the other two categories are quality and safety and sustainability and adaptation.
On the exchange rate management, he said Nigeria has applied the typical International Monetary Fund (IMF) recipe of eliminating the premium of devaluation of the domestic currency, which is mere financial borrowing and Non FDI capital flows and won’t solve the underlying structural problems. He said the enduring solution is expansive domestic manufacturing and relentless deliberate and focused export drive.
In his keynote address the Group Managing Director, First Bank Nigeria Limited, Dr Adesola Adeduntan said “we are delighted to be in 2024 despite the headwinds experienced at both national and global level.
He said for us as Nigeria we started this year on a strong footing with President Bola Tinubu signing of 2024 Appropriation bills of N28.7 trillion which is the highest in the country. He said N9.9 trillion budgeted for capital projects implies there will be significant spending as planned and that would create enough stimulus within the economy that will allow serious players to tap into the growth of the economy.