Nigeria: It’s (oh) so quiet

3 min
Stéphane Colliac
Stéphane Colliac Senior Economist for France and Africa

In Nigeria, GDP growth was quite stable in Q3, at +1.8% y/y. This figure is quite deceptive, since the implemen­tation of delayed fiscal spending from H1 should have supported growth in Q3. It also implies that full-year growth will likely miss our former expectation. As a result, we revise our forecasts to +1.8% in 2018 (instead of +2%) and +2.2% in 2019 (down from +2.5%). Growth is still far from recovering to the levels observed before the oil price collapse (+6.3% in 2014). Nigeria is benefiting from more favorable financing conditions (a new USD2.9bn Eurobond issuance was made in November and the import cover of foreign exchange reserves has reached eight months) but investment in infrastructure remains quite low and pro-business reforms are still lagging. Nigeria’s ranking in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2019 survey has made no progress overall (146th) and is particularly low on some key items (171st on getting electricity, 184th on registering property, 149th on resolving insolvency), explaining why the growth potential remains so low.