President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, has warned African leader to ensure economy growth reflects in the lives of their citizens as nobody eat their country's gross domestic product (GDP). He said his time as a Minister in Nigeria has taught him some lessons.
Adesina commented on linking economic growth to people while speaking during the African Delivery Unit Exchange Conference. He said economic development must translate into meaningful impacts on the lives of people, "Development is about people. It starts with people, is accountable to people, and must have positive impacts on people.
"The challenge for any government is how to accelerate the delivery of results. Yes, we need economic growth, and it’s always a good sign when GDP grows, but let’s be clear: nobody eats GDP.
"Growth must translate into meaningful impacts on the lives of people. What we should be measuring is not the quantum of economic growth, but the quantum of growth in the quality of life of people." Adesina said in his statement seen by AllNews.
Adesina's statement comes amid Nigeria's struggle with recession and rising inflation. The country's economy had contracted twice consecutively in the period of Q2 and Q3, sending Nigeria into another recession in five years.
The key driver of the inflation had been cited as the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced Nigerian government to announce a lockdown of almost all sectors, causing a meltdown of the economy. The GDP contracted by -3.62% in Q3 2020, having already declined by -6.10% in Q2 this year.
The lockdown significantly reduced the country's revenue, leading to a decline in sectoral contribution to the GDP. However, prior to the recession this year, Nigerians have been battling with rising inflation since the closure of the land border in October 2020.
The border closure sent prices of food items and other goods through the roof, increasing the cost of living in Nigeria even when the economy was slowly growing last year and Q1 this year. Prices of basic items like onions, groundnut oil, palm oil, rice have refused to drop, rather rising.
To worsen the situation, transportation cost have also compounded the cost of living of Nigerians. This has forced the government to reduce the levy on imported cars to 10% from the 35% placed on car importation.