The World Bank’s Women, Business, and Law (WBL) 2020 index which measures the laws and regulations that affect women’s economic opportunity show that Nigeria scores 63.1 out of 100. This is lower than the sub-Saharan Africa regional average of 71 and the same score as the previous year.1 Nigeria’s performance varies across the several legal indicators including laws addressing the constraints to freedom of movement (50), women’s decision to work (75), women’s pay (50), women’s work after marriage (100), women’s work after having children (0), constraints on women starting and running a business (75), gender differences in property and inheritance (80), and affecting the size of a woman’s pension (75). Improvements in opportunities that accrue to women are underpinned by cultural and social shifts that close gender bias not only in the economy, but also in society and politics. To spur these shifts, the media and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) should promote gender equal narratives, while the private sector and government should redesign policies to create more and better opportunities for women.
March 16, 2021
Nigeria Economic Update (Issue 9)
Latest Doing Business report by the World Bank ranks Nigeria as one of the top 10 economies that showed notable improvements in doing business in 2016/2017. Precisely, the report which presents quantitative indicators on business regulation compared across 190 economies and ranked Nigeria 145th - up by 24 positions from the previous report ranking, to reach its highest rank since 2013. This may not be unexpected, given that it is consequent upon various business environment reforms in 2016. Particularly, the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) set up in 2016 enacted 31 reforms to improve business(such as improving credit to small and medium-size businesses) all of were enacted into law in May 2017.
The global economy grew by 2.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 (2016Q4) relative to 2.5 percent in 2016Q3, due to rising investment and consumption demands in developed and emerging economies as well as a rise in commodity prices. However, over the entire year, global GDP growth stood at 2.6 percent in 2016, relative to the growth of 3.09 percent recorded in 2015. Notably, output grew progressively in the US over the year, while the steady growth recorded in the UK since the start of the year stalled in 2016Q4. Also, the declining growth recorded in France since 2015 took a positive turn in 2016Q4, the rest of the Eurozone witnessed a fall in output in the quarter. While emerging economies recorded mixed experiences, many Sub-Saharan African countries showed signs of recovery in the period.
Activities in the manufacturing sector remained at levels recorded in 2016Q3. Specifically, manufacturing capacity utilization (a measure of potential manufacturing output that is actually realized) remained at 48.46 percent in 2016Q4 below average. During the quarter, structural bottlenecks such as epileptic power supply (average of 2, 548 Megawatts) in addition to forex constraints, hampered manufacturing activities. As such, high cost of raw materials and cost of production subdued activities in the short term. Recent efforts by the monetary authority to increase forex access to the manufacturing sector as well as improvement in gas supply and electricity generation would help minimize production costs and enhance production process.