Building on a slew of successes in 2021, the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce on Thursday hosted leading members of Nigeria’s business community and stakeholders from various sectors of the economy at its January Breakfast Meeting, themed: ‘2022 Economic Outlook’.
Welcoming delegates to the event, which provided a platform for analysis of the economic, social and geopolitical trends expected to impact Nigeria’s economic performance this year, the President and Council Chairman of the Chamber, Mrs. Bisi Adeyemi highlighted the Chamber’s understanding of the challenges posed by an unstable global market, and the ramifications for Nigerian businesses.
“A major objective for hosting the 2022 Economic Outlook is the imperative to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the opportunities, challenges and indeed the threats that businesses should expect to contend with this year. I am sure that like me, many of you would like to have a crystal ball to give you a sneak peek into what the year holds, and I certainly would like to know how the permutations of a pre-election year will impact the economic indices,”Adeyemi noted.
Taking a deep dive into Nigeria’s projected fiscal outcomes, keynote speaker and economist, Mr. Bismarck J. Rewane hinted that economic activity in 2022 will be similar to 2021, owing to global inflationary trends linked to COVID-19, such as the lingering global supply shortage, which will weigh on the supply of imported raw materials and continue to impact Nigerian businesses.
“We can expect to see sustained cost-push factors, including a planned fuel subsidy removal, new electricity tariffs and additional taxes; alongside legacy issues, such as increased debt service burden and exchange rate conversion. Inflation will remain structurally high at an average of 13.3%, with an increase in Q1 and Q2,” Mr. Rewane observed.
He however noted that the economic outlook for the country was not gloomy, despite its continued dependence on oil.
“The World Bank projects economic growth of 2.5% for Nigeria, with a 3.4% annualised growth rate, driven by the ICT, Financial Services, Manufacturing, Trade and Construction sectors. Government expenditure will increase especially because of election spending and the Naira will effectively appreciate in the informal market,” he concluded.
British Deputy High Commissioner, Mr. Ben Llewellyn-Jones delivered a goodwill message underscoring the strong bilateral ties between the two countries and the United Kingdom’s commitment to strengthening existing trade relations, including its continued support for Nigeria’s efforts to diversify its economy and open up additional areas for potential investment.