IMF Sees 1.5% Real Output Growth for Nigeria in 2021; Proffers Solutions for Recovery…

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In the just concluded week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s Executive Board released the report of their assessment of the 2020 Article IV Consultation with Nigeria, highlighting the weakened state of the economy and proffering ways to improve fiscal policy sustainability, exchange rate stability, price stability and sustainable output growth.

The Executive Directors urged the Nigerian authorities to reduce fiscal sustainability risks by increasing revenue mobilization via progressive taxation and improved efficiency in tax administration.

The IMF’s Covid crisis response
The IMF’s Covid crisis response

The suggested fiscal measures, meant to complement ongoing reforms by the Federal Government to reduce inefficiencies via removal of subsidies in the downstream oil & gas and power sectors, were to be accompanied by the provision of social safety nets to cushion potential negative impacts on the poor.

With regard to exchange rate stability, the Directors recommended a gradual and multi-step approach to establishing a harmonized, market-determined exchange rate regime with the short-term objectives of, inter alia, removing backlogs of foreign exchange demand, eliminating premium in the parallel market and increasing non-CBNparticipation in the Investors & Exporters Foreign Exchange Window.

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They further called on the Monetary authority to keep watch on general price levels with a readiness to tighten monetary policy in the event that current accommodative monetary policy stance results in increased pressure on the balance of payments or inflation.

The Directors also welcomed the ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area and stressed the need to implement reforms necessary to facilitate international trade for a more sustainable growth rate.

While IMF staff projected a 3.2% decline in real output in 2020, it nevertheless forecasted a 1.5% output growth in 2021; albeit, noting that protectionist capital flow measures were yet to deliver a job-rich growth given a structural dependency on the oil sector which remained vulnerable to periodic global price shocks.

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According to the Staffers, subdued global recovery and decarbonization trends are expected to keep oil prices low and OPEC quotas in place, thus limiting oil-related activities, fiscal revenues and export proceeds over the medium term.

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In a related development, global crude oil prices continued to trend higher amid improving market fundamentals on the back of tighter oil production and inventories.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. crude oil stock (excluding SPR) fell week-on-week by 1.41% to 469 million barrels in the week ended Wednesday, February 05, 2021 while input to U.S. refineries rose by 0.25% to 14.73 million barrels per day.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude price rose by 1.51% w-o-w to USD57.71 a barrel while Brent crude oil price buoyed by 2.09% to USD60.58 a barrel. Nigeria’s crude grade (Bonny Light) increased by 2.49% to USD60.40 per barrel as at February 12, 2021.

We agree with recommendations of the IMF Executive Directors while also acknowledging reforms and other efforts by the Nigerian authorities to fast track Nigeria’s exit from the recession and to deliver sustainable growth.

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For us, the critical risks remain domestic insecurity and exchange rate vulnerability, both of which have fueled inflation and worsened the economic wellbeing of citizens.

We are happy with the ongoing investment in infrastructure by government – due to its desire to make Nigeria energy and economically independent – and the much-anticipated developments in the oil and gas sector such as the Dangote Oil Refinery and the likely nearterm passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill which would be game changers as these would support government’s efforts to diversify the economy using oil as a fulcrum, create employment and stimulate a more robust growth

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IMF Sees 1.5% Real Output Growth for Nigeria in 2021; Proffers Solutions for Recovery… - Brand SpurIMF Sees 1.5% Real Output Growth for Nigeria in 2021; Proffers Solutions for Recovery… - Brand Spur

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IMF Sees 1.5% Real Output Growth for Nigeria in 2021; Proffers Solutions for Recovery… - Brand SpurIMF Sees 1.5% Real Output Growth for Nigeria in 2021; Proffers Solutions for Recovery… - Brand Spur

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Hong Kong Productivity Council Theme of the Year 2021: “Make Smart Smarter”

  • Smarter Era of Intelligent Manufacturing Launch Ceremony
  • Witnesses New Milestone for Reindustrialisation in Hong Kong


HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 26 February 2021 - The Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) launches a series of activities in 2021 themed "Make Smart Smarter". The campaign with "Smarter Era of Intelligent Manufacturing Launch Ceremony" was kicked off today, revolving around the theme of "reindustrialisation".


IMF Sees 1.5% Real Output Growth for Nigeria in 2021; Proffers Solutions for Recovery… - Brand Spur

The "Smarter Era of Intelligent Manufacturing Launch Ceremony" was officiated together by Dr David Chung, Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology, HKSAR Government (fourth from left); Mr Clemente Contestabile, Consul General of Italy in Hong Kong (third from right); Ms Rebecca Pun, Commissioner for Innovation and Technology, HKSAR Government (second from right); Dr Daniel Yip, Chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Industries (third from left); Mr Roberto Leone, Managing Director of NiRoTech Limited (first from right); Mr Willy Lin, Chairman of HKPC (fourth from right); Mr Mohamed Butt, Executive Director of HKPC (second from left) and Mr Edmond Lai, Chief Digital Officer of HKPC (first from left).


Co-organised by the Federation of the Hong Kong Industries (FHKI), this spotlight event exhibited and introduced an excellent example of reindustrialisation whose research and development were undertaken by HKPC. Gaining support from the Innovation and Technology Bureau and funding support from the R&D Cash Rebate Scheme of the Innovation Technology Commission of the HKSAR Government, production has been successfully commenced in NiRoTech Limited (NiRoTech), a local intelligent security product manufacturer.


This smart production line, named the "OWL" intelligent production line, gives into full play the characteristics of an owl's wisdom, piercing eyes, flexible body, soft neck (360o vision) and agile movement. These perfectly echo the key features of this intelligent production line which has high flexibility, excellent agility to cater for different production needs, stringent and precise production capacity, as well as non-stop operation. Five key "S.M.A.R.T" elements: Speed, Multi-function, Accuracy, Reliability and Traceability, can be seen in this production line offering edges of intelligence and efficiency enhancement.

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In order to effectively respond to Hong Kong manufacturers' demands on production space, the "OWL" production line adopts a U-shape compact layout design and incorporates the beauty of the "Industry 4.0" (i4.0) lean manufacturing "vision", significantly reducing the factory area to meet the unique land constraints of Hong Kong. NiRoTech's smart factory only occupies 10,000 square feet, saving 50% of the land. It is also equipped with 12 robots and large amount of customised intelligent automation systems and digital technologies. Compared with traditional manual production, the overall production capacity increases by 1.5 times.


Mr Willy Lin, Chairman of HKPC, and Dr Daniel Yip, Chairman of FHKI, were joined by Mr Clemente Contestabile, Consul General of Italy in Hong Kong; Dr David Chung, Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Ms Rebecca Pun, Commissioner for Innovation and Technology; Mr Roberto Leone, Managing Director of NiRoTech; as well as Mr Mohamed Butt, Executive Director of HKPC and Mr Edmond Lai, Chief Digital Officer of HKPC, for the launch of the ceremony.


In his welcoming address, Mr Willy Lin, Chairman of HKPC, said, "HKPC is committed to offering staunch support for Hong Kong SMEs in technology R&D and technical aspects, with the aim of creating value for the industrial development of enterprises with state-of-the-art technologies. The 'OWL' intelligent production line is an excellent example of applying innovative technologies that also fits perfectly with HKPC's theme of this year 'Make Smart Smarter'. As owl represents wisdom, by being smarter and using innovative technologies such as IoT, AI, big data, intelligent robots and smart production processes to unleash production opportunities of i4.0, it will certainly scale up productivity and contribute to successful reindustrialisation in Hong Kong, thus achieving the goal of 'Make Smart Smarter'".


He continued, "It is really encouraging to see this 'reindustrialisation' example witnessing the concerted efforts of the Government, industries, business chambers and HKPC to promote reindustrialisation in Hong Kong! HKPC sincerely urges various sectors to work together to accelerate reindustrialisation for the swift recovery of Hong Kong economy and to ensure the "Made-in-Hong Kong" brand to continue to shine bright in the international arena -- Make Smart Smarter".


Dr David Chung, Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology, said, "the Government has been actively promoting 'reindustrialisation' in recent years by providing support in infrastructure, finance, technology and talents in order to create new area of growth and great job opportunities which would help alleviate Hong Kong's competitiveness. I wish to see more enterprises 'Make Smart Smarter', and make good use of these opportunities provided by I&T, as well as the support from the Government, to work and contribute together in turning Hong Kong into an international I&T hub".


Dr Daniel Yip, Chairman of FHKI said, "This collaboration of HKPC and NiRoTech serves as a valuable reference for industrialists on how to integrate i4.0 into production lines to enhance efficiency, elevating their confidence to set up high value-added manufacturing facilities in Hong Kong. With comprehensive policy support and HKPC's professional consultative service, FHKI believes that more Hong Kong manufacturers will join the force of 'reindustrialisation' by pursuing technological advancement and setting up smart manufacturing plants locally, taking the Hong Kong industries into a new era".


The "OWL" intelligent production line integrates the smart adoption of advanced robots with machine vision, smart electrical and mechanical devices, laser processing and sensor technologies. Also, by incorporating AI, IoT, human machine interface, real-time data collection and data analytic technologies, it ensures the full automation and digitalisation of production, assembly and monitoring to achieve big data analytics. Apart from three technologies whose patents are soon to be applied, the project also assists NiRoTech's business planning in exploring the emerging markets and grasping new opportunities.


Mr Roberto Leone, Managing Director of NiRoTech, said, "Mechatronic Manufacturing in Hong Kong: our strategy was clear from the start when we sought HKPC's assistance for help to realise intelligent production. For some, this goal was still immature and very difficult to achieve, especially with Hong Kong being chosen as our operation hub. Today we can proudly say we have achieved it with the system in Hong Kong operating satisfactorily as schedule. Despite there are challenges as the COVID-19 pandemic was affecting all in 2020, the result is now vividly in front of us, and we can touch it. Yet this is only the first step of a long journey".


For more details about "Make Smart Smarter", please visit the dedicated website: https://smarter.hkpc.org/en/index.html


About Hong Kong Productivity Council

The Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) is a multi-disciplinary organisation established by statute in 1967, to promote productivity excellence through integrated advanced technologies and innovative service offerings to support Hong Kong enterprises. HKPC is the champion and expert in facilitating Hong Kong's reindustrialisation empowered by i4.0 and e4.0 -- focusing on R&D, IoT, big data analytics, AI and Robotic technology development, digital manufacturing, etc., to help enterprises and industries upgrade their business performance, lower operating costs, increase productivity and enhance competitiveness.


The Council is a trusted partner with comprehensive innovative solutions for Hong Kong industries and enterprises, enabling them to achieve resources and productivity utilisation, effectiveness and cost reduction, and enhanced competitiveness in both local and international marketplace. It offers SMEs and startups immediate and timely assistance in coping with the ever-changing business environment, accompanying them on their innovation and transformation journey.


In addition, HKPC partners and collaborates with local industries and enterprises to develop applied technology solutions for value creation. It also benefits a variety of sectors through product innovation and technology transfer, with commercialisation of multiple market-driven patents and technologies, bringing enormous opportunities abound for licensing and technology transfer, both locally and internationally.

For more information, please visit HKPC's website: www.hkpc.org.


IMF Sees 1.5% Real Output Growth for Nigeria in 2021; Proffers Solutions for Recovery… - Brand Spur
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