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Nigeria gains but structural mire persists.



Growth in sub-Saharan Africa's second largest economy [after South Africa South Africa, Afrikaans Suid-Afrika, officially Republic of South Africa, republic (2005 est. pop. 44,344,000), 471,442 sq mi (1,221,037 sq km), S Africa. ] so far this year is far below the government's target of 10 percent," says an October 5, 2007 Reuters report filed from Lagos.

Citing Nigeria's central bank as its source, Reuters said that the Nigerian economy expanded 5.73 in the second quarter 2007, compared with 5.65 percent in the first quarter. The comparisons were to the same periods in 2006.

The expansion was mainly due to growth in Nigeria's non-oil sector. The non-oil sector grew 9.2 percent in the period from April 2007 to June 2007.

In its August 2007 estimates, the International Monetary Fund (IMF IMF

See: International Monetary Fund


IMF

See International Monetary Fund (IMF).
) concluded that Nigeria's GDP GDP (guanosine diphosphate): see guanine.  would grow only 4.3 percent in 2007. This compares with growth of 5.6 percent in 2006, and 7.2 percent in 2005.

For 2008, the IMF is estimating GDP growth of 8.0 percent.

Some of the reasons for the IMF's optimism for Nigeria GDP in 2008 were articulated in an October 23, 2007 Country Report (No. 07/353). Briefly stated, they are: "Robust economic growth, substantially strengthened fiscal and external positions, reduced core and headline inflation Headline inflation is a measure of the total inflation within an economy and is affected by areas of the market which may experience sudden inflationary spikes such as food or energy.  to single digits, and improved general confidence in the economy as reflected by a BB-rating by Fitch and Moody."

The IMF adds: "Significant progress was also made on structural reforms."

Not everyone agrees.

In a paper published by the University of Ibadan The University of Ibadan is the oldest Nigerian university, and is located five miles (8 kilometres) from the centre of the major city of Ibadan in Western Nigeria. It has over 12,000 students.

The University was founded on its own site on 17 November 1948.
 (Ibadan, Nigeria) titled, "Rethinking African Development," its sociologist author took substantial issue with the view of progress in Nigeria. The paper focused specifically on the country's oil sector, which even the IMF acknowledged has been struggling of late.

The paper says Nigeria is in the midst Adv. 1. in the midst - the middle or central part or point; "in the midst of the forest"; "could he walk out in the midst of his piece?"
midmost
 of an energy crisis. Prices for petroleum products are increasing sharply--increases accompanied by social unrest. "This situation is paradoxical when one considers the fact that Nigeria is the sixth largest producer and exporter of crude oil."

High petroleum product prices negatively affect the well being of nearly all of the country's consumers, says the paper. The country's aging, government owned refineries are poorly managed and productivity is low. "In fact," says the paper, "[the situation] is not the function of age but a function of prolonged period of neglect, executive corruption and lack of foresight on the part of previous and current government."

Violent crime is also a problem in Nigeria. A May 2007 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), international organization that came into being in 1961. It superseded the Organization for European Economic Cooperation, which had been founded in 1948 to coordinate the Marshall Plan for European  (OECD OECD: see Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. ) report said, "Crime and insecurity in Nigeria continue to pose serious threats to the business climate and individual well-being." However, citing a 2006 household survey, the OECD noted 47 percent of respondents acknowledged improvement in the security situation.

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Publication:Market Africa Mid-East
Geographic Code:6NIGR
Date:Nov 1, 2007
Words:441
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