Nigeria’s aviation sector witnessed substantial improvements in 2018 in both air passenger traffic and cargo movements. Figures from the Federal Airport Authorities of Nigeria show that the number of passengers through Nigerian airports stood at 15.2 million in 20181, about 13.4 percent increase from the 13.4 million passengers in 20172. The total cargo movement stood at 245.89 million kilograms compared to 161.80 million kilograms recorded in 2017. With improvements in infrastructure, launch of new aircrafts by air operators, full-capacity schedule flight services, improved regulation, and less inference from the government in 20183, the sector attracted more customers and ultimately garnered more revenue from the sales of tickets. By implication, these improvements in the industry bolstered the remarkable sectoral annual real growth rate which grew from 1.83 percent in 2017 to 20.7 percent in 20184. Despite the improvements, there is need to create tax incentives that can attract investors that would invest in airport infrastructure upgrade and continuous maintenance to help unlock the full potential of the Nigerian airline industry.
Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates
Sub-Saharan Africa experienced its worst economic performance in over two decades in 2016, with growth slowing to 1.5 percent. The poor performance in South Africa and oil exporting countries is responsible for attenuating regional growth rate, due to their high collective contribution to regional GDP, despite robust performance in non-resource intensive countries. Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to slightly improve in 2017 (2.9 percent) and further strengthen in 2018 (3.6 percent). At the sub-regional level, growth prospect is estimated to be highest in West Africa (4.78 percent), attributable to 5.93 percent growth rate from West African Monetary Union (WAEMU) Countries. East Africa is expected to grow at 4.5 percent, Southern Africa 3 percent, and Central Africa 2 percent. Agricultural exporting countries are projected to grow at around 7 percent, while oil producing countries are estimated to grow at 1.9 percent, which indicates a recovery from the negative growth recorded in 2016.
Recently released labour force report by the NBS shows a quarter-over-quarter increase in Nigerias working age and labour force population. Working population rose from 110.29 million in 2017Q2, to 111.13 million persons in 2017Q32. The working age population in 2017Q3 constituted 85.08 million persons in the labour force (an increase from 83.94 million), of which 40 percent were either unemployed or underemployed. Thus, total employed persons in the quarter reached 69.1 million.