The recent report by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) shows that Nigeria’s Human Development Index (HDI) value rose very marginally from 0.530 in 2016 to 0.532 in 20171. However, overall, the ranking remained unchanged at 157th position out of 189 sample countries – putting the nation in the low human development category, and below Ghana, Kenya and a few other sub-Saharan countries. The HDI criteria which are broadly inclusive of countries’ social, political and economic diversity and indicative of the quality of life, may have shown limited progress in Nigeria due to rising population2 (currently, the population stands at 190.1 million). In the population growth and absence of the political will to address the sub-optimal HDI, signalled by the historic low budget share allocated to the education and health sectors, significant improvements in the HDI is not foreseeable in the near future.
Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates
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.
Available data from NBS shows that Aviation sub-sector of the transport sector grew by o.15 percent in real terms in 2017Q2 down from 1.53 percent in 2017Q15. The decline is likely attributable to fall in year-on-year passenger and aircraft movement in the sub-sector, following increased air fare charges.