ICT, manufacturing to drive economic growth in 2023, says LCCI

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BY BAMIDELE FAMOOFO

Uba Group

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has projected that the Information Communication Technology and the manufacturing sectors would be the major drivers of the economy in 2023.

The chamber in a statement titled “LCCI New Year statement on the economy 2023” predicted growth in sectors like manufacturing, agriculture, transport, telecommunications, and trade in 2023.

“With Nigeria having the third largest subscriber base in Africa (after South Africa and Egypt), the telecoms sub-sector is expected to record growth above the 10.1 per cent achieved in Q3 2022 driven by the growing deployment of Payment Service Banks by the telcos, increase in subscribers using more telcos’ services, and the expected innovation coming with the launch of the 5G technology. The government needs to be more sensitive to the regulation of the ICT sector to promote growth and support private sector operations,” the statement read in part.

LCCI noted that the base factors that may continue to drive the major economic indicators are the rising inflation rate; tight monetary policies; an unstable currency; foreign exchange scarcity; debt burden; currency management; food supply disruptions; exchange rate volatility and election spending.

“As we enter the year 2023, the global economy, beyond the mounting uncertainties, may continue to face a confluence of challenges. From persistently high inflation and aggressive global monetary policy tightening to the continued disruptions caused by the Russia-Ukraine war and the energy crisis, weak consumer demand and political upheavals,” it stated.

LCCI said its projected outlook remained a hard landing.

“The Nigerian economy in 2022 recorded growth in the first three quarters but slowed down from 3.54 per cent in Q2 to 2.25 per cent in Q3. We expect to have growth reported for the last quarter of 2022. The slowdown was driven by a decline in aggregate demand in the face of inflation spikes, commodities’ supply chain disruption, high energy costs, and forex scarcity.”

It added that with several shocks suffered by many economies and over a greater portion of 2022, various projections and analyses of economic conditions across regional blocs point to the likelihood of a recession or a significant slowdown of growth in 2023 due to spiraling inflation, high energy cost, monetary policy tightening, and weakening consumer demand. Global growth, though positive, slowed down by about 50 per cent between 2019 and 2022.