The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele said he expects the economy to pick up in 2019, forecasting a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 3 percent, up from 1.9 percent recorded last year.
The Governor said the bank would maintain its tight monetary stance in 2019, and sees inflation at 11.31 percent in February and rising to 12 percent this year before moderating.
Emefiele, who is set to step down in June, told an economic conference in Lagos that the economy would see more growth as the recovery is become self sustaining. Economic growth has been recovering since the third quarter of 2016, when the recession bottomed out. Higher oil prices helped Nigeria exit that contraction. In 2018, the economy grew at its fastest pace since the recession.
Emefiele expects volatility in the crude oil market to put pressure on the currency but the central bank would maintain its stance on exchange rate over the next year.
He said since last month’s presidential campaign, more than $6 billion had flowed into the local bond market, as foreign investors piled into debt to lock in yields as high as 14 percent.
Bond investors had been worried elections would turn violent, not about who won. President Muhammadu Buhari has favoured a strong and stable currency, which bondholders hope will continue.