As a policy objective, the attainment of food security in Nigeria began facing challenges prior to independence when oil exportation began in 1958. But the challenges became pronounced and persistent after the commencement of large-scale oil exports in the early 1970s, when the country nearly abandoned agriculture in pursuit of newfound oil wealth. Self-sufficiency in food production and agricultural export earnings, aided by widespread cultivation of food crops and regional specialisation in cash crops – the cocoa mountains in the west, the oil palm and kernel heaps in the east, and groundnut pyramids in the north – began to diminish and disappear respectively. Within a few years after independence in 1960, the agricultural sector transitioned from a net foreign exchange earner to net foreign exchange drain.
Power sector analysis shows an increase in power generated by 3.01 percent from 2903.5mw to 2991.8mw between July 1, 2016 and July 8, 2016, with a peak of 3260.8mw on July 5, 2016. This is however, still below the highest (5074.7mw) recorded in February, 2016. The increase reflects improved use of hydro (water) for power generation. The easing out of gas constraint occasioned by recent pipeline repairs have also contributed to the increase in power generation. Improvements in power generation would be sustained if hydro measures are complemented with fast-tracked repairs on damaged gas channels and intensified efforts at tackling pipeline sabotage.
Recent data on Nigerias labour market points to a rise in the rate of unemployment and underemployment in 2015Q4. Specifically, compared to 2015Q3, the rate of unemployment and underemployment rose to 10.4 per cent and 18.7 per cent from 9.9 percent and 17.4 percent respectively. These statistics however masks the true situation of the youth employment in Nigeria. Disaggregated data by age category shows that unemployment and underemployment within the youth age category (15-24) was remarkably higher than the national average, at 19 and 34.5 per cent respectively.
This brief examines Nigerias Budget 2013, entitled Budget of Fiscal Consolidation with Inclusive Growth and highlights key sectoral allocations of the budget and their targets.