Nigeria’s infrastructure stock, comprising of roads, water-ways, seaports, airports, etc, increased slightly albeit a slower pace in recent years. At an estimated 35 percent of GDP in 2018, infrastructure stock grew marginally from the recorded 20-25 percent in 20141. The increase may be premised on slightly improved capital spending (the Federal government budgetary capital spending increased from N691 billion in 2015 to N2.2 trillion in 2017) for the four years under review. However, Nigeria’s infrastructure stock continues to be significantly lower than the recommended international benchmark of 70 percent- a point it hopes to reach by 2043 if the required annual $100 billion is invested over the next three decades.
Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates
The Nigeria Stock Exchange market advanced further as equity indices pitched higher in the review week. Benchmark indices, All-share Index and Market Capitalization rose by 1.5 percent to settle at remarkable points, 37,425 and N12.90 trillion respectively an exceptional first-time record in more than two years. The uptrend has been sustained by stronger demand for investment securities due to outstanding H1 performance reports submitted by some listed companies during the week10.
Nigerias Petroleum Products Imports statistics show a gradual reduction in the volume and value of petroleum imports (PMS, AGO, HHK) between May and September 2016. Specifically, volume of imports declined by 34.1 percent for PMS, 37.6 percent for AGO, and 60.3 percent for HHK in the period.The significant decline in imports in the reporting periods may be as a result of persistent forex scarcity issues faced by importers. On account of stagnation in domestic production of refined petroleum products, continuous decline in oil imports may create a demand gap with upward pressure on gasoline prices in the economy.
According to figures released by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, employment growth lagged during the recession period, and worsened unemployment/underemployment rates few quarters after. Specifically, unemployment rate rose to 18.8 percent in 2017Q31, up from 16.2 percent in previous quarter (the recession-exit quarter) and 13.9 percent in corresponding quarter. Disaggregated figures reveal that the number of unemployed and underemployed persons in the labour force increased by 17 percent and 2 percent respectively, to 15.9 million and 18.0 million in 2017Q3, majority of which are young persons within ages 15-34.