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
Available data shows that headline inflation reduced in most countries in the region in May 2017 relative to preceding months. Notably, headline inflation decreased in Nigeria (16.25 percent), Ghana (12.26 percent), Tanzania (6.1 percent), Senegal (1.8 percent), Namibia (6.3 percent) and Rwanda (11.7 percent), while it grew in South Africa (5.4 percent), Kenya (11.7 percent), Ethiopia (8.7 percent) and Uganda (7.2 percent). Cote dIvoire (-0.4 percent) recorded consumer price deflation. The decrease in consumer price in Nigeria, Tanzania and Ghana can be attributed to decreases in both food and non-food components of inflation. Regionally, all countries in Southern Africa recorded single digits inflation, however consumer price marginally increased in South Africa, for the first time in 2017 owing to spike in food prices6, and Botswana (both by 0.1 percent).
Available data from Nigeria Bureau of Statistics shows a decline in the Nigeria Aviation sub-sector (Transport Sector) real growth rate in 2017Q1. Compared to the preceding quarter, the sub-sector declined significantly by 9.6 percent, due to decline in the number of passengers and movement of aircrafts this may be connected to the closure of the Abuja airport for infrastructural development during the period. To ensure a near-optimal performance of the aviation sector, the government should also make efforts to improve aviation safety and security, establish a national carrier, and improve aircraft maintenance to world class standards.