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
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.
Recently released World Economic Outlook by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects economic activities to increase significantly in developing countries- especially Nigeria. Annual real output is expected to grow by 0.8 percent in 2017 from the contraction of 1.5 percent in 20161. Improvement in economic activities is hinged on prospective favorable effects of continued increase in commodity export price (Crude oil is expected to increase to $55 per barrel in 2017 compared to $46 in 2016).
Latest figures of FDI flows to Nigeria show a decline of 27 per cent from $4.7 billion in 2014 to $3.4 billion in 20152, representing its lowest value since 2005. This decline is largely attributed to the oil price slump, which has generally increased uncertainty in the economy, with adverse effects on investors confidence. The fall in FDI flows was witnessed in most resource based economies in Africa, as FDI flows to the continent fell by 31 percent in 2015. The forex controls in place in Nigeria has also exacerbated the uncertainty in economy, and created obstacles for both domestic and foreign investors. Thus a review of the forex restrictions could send positive signals to investors.