According to the latest CBN financial inclusion report, overall progress towards achieving the Nigeria Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) fell short of the annualized target in 2017. The World Bank’s Findex database also shows that ownership of an account with a financial institution or a mobile money provider dropped by 4 percentage points from 44% in 2016 to 40% in 20171. The gender disparity in account ownership is greatly manifested, with 51% men owning an account compared to 27% women. Although critical themes were outlined to scale up financial inclusion targets in 2017, factors such as religious and cultural bias to the uptake of financial products, worsening levels of unemployment, and high levels of informality in the economy remained setbacks toward achieving higher rates of financial inclusion in Nigeria.
Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates
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.
The paper examines the implications of trade effects in bilateral trade drawing evidence from West African Monetary and Economic Union (UEMOA). It also discusses the importance of political stability to trade in ECOWAS countries.