Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country, with an estimated population of 190.9 million; it also has the largest economy, estimated at $376 billion in 2017 (World Bank, 2017). The economy hinges critically on the service sector, while oil is relied upon as the main source of foreign earnings. Despite its huge potential, Nigeria has failed to translate its resource endowment and strategic economic and demographic positions into sustained economic development. In fact, the country’s performance is abysmally low with regard to key development indicators. A portion (46 per cent) of its huge population is poor by World Bank definitions, and socioeconomic outcomes remain among the worst globally (World Bank, 2017). Specifically, Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-school children in the world (13 million in 2018), coupled with high rates of infant and maternal mortality (figure 1). Furthermore, the country suffers from inadequate and dilapidated infrastructure across the energy, housing and transport sectors. This is in relation to about $30 billion in budgeted spending for the 2018 fiscal year by the federal government, which reflects the enormous development financing challenges (Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, 2018). Despite these poor development indicators, the country has made modest progress in improving revenue streams, with recent developments in sectors other than oil such as the agriculture and mineral sectors.
Recent data by NBS indicates an increase in bank credit to private sector. Specifically, private sector credit rose (year on year) by 24.4 percent to N16,185.1 billion in 2016Q3 relative to 2016Q2, with Oil and gas, and Manufacturing sectors taking the consecutive largest shares of the credit. The rise may be connected to the need to improve credit availability to critical sectors in order to hasten the recovery from the ongoing recession. The present rise in bank credit to the manufacturing sector seems to be a step in the right direction as the sector is critical to Nigerias industrialization and economic stability.
This brief examines Budget 2012 and highlights key structural and institutional challenges that have been militating against the achievement of inclusive growth and employment generation as listed in the budget.
Recent NBS data shows a significant decline in power generated in 2016Q2. Precisely, power generated declined by 31 percent (quarter on quarter) from a total quarterly average of 92,352 MWH in 2016Q1 to 63,692.39 MWH in 2016Q2. Remarkably, the reoccurrences of pipeline vandalism in 2016Q2 prompted the shortage of gas for power generation. Thus, there were about eight recorded system collapses in the quarter which led to several days of power outages. However, subsequent quarterly declines in power generation could be averted if efforts to repair vandalized pipelines and adopt hydro sources are intensified.
Business activities in Africa slightly improved in February 2017 albeit at a slow rate. Sales Managers Index (SMI) for Africa an assessment of business condition in Pan-African Economy increased by 0.4 index points from 52.2 points in January 2017 to 52.6 points in February 2017. Sub-Saharan African countries experienced better business activities than North Africa in the review period. The two largest economies in the region, Nigeria (48.5 index points) and South Africa (49.2 Index points) registered contraction in the review period as Nigeria remained in recession while high unemployment remained a problem in South Africa. The growth in SMI recorded in the review period is driven by improvement in business confidence and sales price which outweighed the fall in other components market growth, sales output and staffing level.