By Lydia Ngwakwe
An economist, Professor Akpan Ekpo, questioned the World Bank’s prediction that Nigeria’s inflation rate is expected to reach the fifth highest in sub-Saharan Africa by the end of 2021.
Ekpo, professor of economics and public policy at Uyo University, Akwa Ibom, questioned the prediction in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency (NAN) Thursday in Lagos.
Recall that the bank’s chief economist for Nigeria, Macro Hernandez, during the presentation on Tuesday of his semi-annual development update in Nigeria, said that Nigeria is lagging behind the rest of sub-Saharan Africa. , with food inflation.
Hernandez included increased insecurity and stalled reforms like slower growth and increased poverty.
The professor said: “First of all, we need to look at the methodology used by the World Bank to come to the conclusion, because we know that inflation has declined slightly.”
Ekpo, also chairman of the Foundation for Economic Research and Training in Lagos, said, however, that if the government could address the insecurity issues limiting economic growth and increasing agricultural production, the prediction might not hold true.
According to him, there are countries with double-digit inflation that are still doing well.
“It means you can have inflation and your GDP is going up, so it’s when you have what we call runaway or hyperinflationary inflation that you worry about.
“Rampant inflation means that prices are rising every day or every month without control,” he said.
On forecasts that inflation would push an additional seven million Nigerians into poverty due to declining purchasing power, Ekpo suggested the federal government to stem it.
He urged the federal government to seriously implement the national poverty reduction program with a growth strategy and economic sustainability plan documents.
“I can’t blame them on this one because already the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said that around 85 million Nigerians live in poverty.
“So the World Bank just said that confirms what our own NBS has already said.
“Now, if the government seriously implements the National Poverty Reduction Initiative document as well as the economic sustainability plan, then we can start reducing the poverty rate.
“Then the economy has to grow in double digits, which is 10% and more so that we can see poverty reduction and more job creation as well, because poverty is linked to unemployment.” , he added. (NAA)