Access to finance has been considered to be one of the important factors in influencing firms’ real activities and in promoting aggregates. However, literature on the relationship between finance and firm-level productivity is almost non-existent for African countries. This paper fills this gap by using cross-sectional firm-level data to estimate the effect of access to finance on labour productivity, total factor productivity (TFP), and the stochastic frontier trans-log model. This study also estimates an instrumental variable model – two-stage least square estimator to address potential endogeneity bias between access to credit and firms’ productivity. The results obtained show that the lack of access to finance, especially overdraft facilities negatively affects the productivity of firms in Africa. Also, smaller firms and sole-proprietorships are mostly affected because they have less access to finance. This study suggests that the development of a balanced financial system should be of topmost priority to policy makers. This ensures that more finance is channelled towards those firms whose productivity depends heavily on the availability of finance irrespective of their characteristics. This would result in firms increasing their investments in productivity-enhancing activities, which would benefit long-term economic growth.
In the second quarter of 2016, the Nigerian economy witnessed its first recession in twenty years due to the interplay of several external and internal factors. The recession has continued until date and has given rise to relentless unemployment rate and job losses, double digit and soaring inflation, currency depreciation and widening gap between parallel market and official exchange rates, amongst other adverse effect on individuals and firms in the country. Thus, there is a need to take a deeper look into the nature of the present recession as well as the impact of monetary and fiscal policy responses thus far, in order to shed light on the way forward towards tackling the recession and ensuring sustainable economic growth. This paper analyses the ongoing recession in the Nigerian economy to provide insights into the interplay of events and recommendations for policy.
The naira continued its downward trajectory this week. Specifically, naira depreciated at the interbank segment by 3.45 percent to N300/$; and by 3.56 percent to 378/$ at the parallel segment. Despite the CBNs effort to support the naira with Forwards and FOREX futures, the excess demand for dollar continues to put pressure on the naira. Looking forward, the stabilization of exchange rate depends on the ability of the CBN and government to attract capital inflows; particularly by raising interest rate, tackling inflation and supporting economy recovery.
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 Budget 2012 and highlights key structural and institutional challenges that have been militating against the achievement of inclusive growth and employment generation as listed in the budget.