The First Bank of Nigeria Limited hosted a webinar on Thursday to discuss Nigeria’s economic outlook for 2022, themed “Review 2021, lessons learned – Outlook 2022”. The webinar brought together more than 2000 participants from around the world.
The bank launched the initiative to set the tone of the year by offering participants the opportunity to learn directly from economic experts to stay informed and knowledgeable to make the right decisions in their socio-economic activities in 2022, which will be impacted by the micro and macro-economic activities of the country.
The event was strategically positioned at a time when investors, local and foreign, are making investment decisions and forecasts for the year. Therefore, this event provided insight into what to expect and the results of the government’s use of macroeconomic tools.
What the Experts Said
Among the economic experts present at the webinar was Mr. Opeyemi Agbaje, the founder of RTC Advisory Services Limited, who believed that inflation would potentially remain a concern for Nigerian consumers.
In his words, “Inflation will likely continue to be a concern for the consumer, shrinking their pocketbook and lowering the consumer’s cost of consumption.”
Speaking on the 2021 review and the outlook for 2022, he said that, “GDP growth is gradually picking up, according to Bismarck’s projections, we could finally be above the population growth rate in terms of growth…Trade is starting to pick up, real estate is starting to reach positive territory, the communications and information have been strong, agriculture remains problematic and I think there is finally evidence that insecurity and disruptions in the agricultural value chain are affecting food production and prices”.
According to him, in 2021, consumers were concerned about the food supply and its prices, these concerns are likely to continue in 2022.
Mr. Bismark Rewane, the keynote speaker for the event, said that the first half of the year, the first half of 2022, will focus on the economy while the second half, the second half of 2022, will focus on politics.
On top of that, he said, GDP is expected to be 3.9% above the expected rate and we could see inflation rise before falling. Also clarifying that external reserves will decline over the course of the year and that we will see the naira strengthen as the exchange rate differential narrows and converges.