- Debt Warning: World Trade Organization’s Director-General, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, advises Nigerian governors to exercise caution in incurring debts that could hinder their ability to deliver on democratic promises. She emphasizes the importance of learning from best practices to ensure the provision of essential services to citizens.
- Economic Challenges: Okonjo-Iweala paints a challenging picture of Nigeria’s economy, pointing out that the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio has almost doubled from 20% to 39% between 2015 and 2023. She raises concerns about the high debt servicing burden, which reached alarming levels of 83.2% in 2021 and 96.3% in 2022. The IMF projects moderate GDP growth rates for Nigeria, but they still fall behind the average growth rates of sub-Saharan Africa as a whole.
- Youth Empowerment and Poverty: Okonja-Iweala highlights the significance of Nigeria’s young population, stating that approximately half of Nigerians are under the age of 18. She urges the governors to attract investments and create job opportunities for youth, leveraging the potential of the digital economy. She also raises concerns about rising poverty levels, emphasizing the need for proactive measures to address food insecurity and reduce the number of Nigerians living below the poverty line.