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Wasting the Golden Era: The Paradox of Idle Youth Population

Unemployment has become a hydra headed problem. Almost every presidential candidate, at last count 95 of them, have unemployment among top 3 issues to be resolved. But wait a minute, how do you solve a problem without a dimension.  How do you determine a value in a simple or quadratic equation without the unknown parameters? The last time unemployment data was released was 2years ago (Q2’2020), even before then, there was a gap. GDP is growing at 3.4% while Labor productivity in Nigeria is 1.7%. This implies that there is high level of underemployment, low productivity and endemic unemployment crisis.

Nigeria, like most developing countries, is experiencing a youth bulge. This age-cohort pattern is usually experienced when countries succeed in reducing infant mortality while keeping fertility rate high. However, Nigeria is failing to harness its youth bulge. Instead of demographic dividend, the country is on the path of harvesting demographic crises from its youth bulge. Young persons between the age of 15 and 34 years make up 43% of the labour force in Nigeria with nearly half of the youth labour force been unemployed based on NBS 2020 survey.

Although Nigeria has wasted a substantial share of its golden era, there are vast opportunities for exploiting the demographic dividends that youth cohort can offer. These include prioritizing human capital development, creating and harnessing youths to economic opportunities and creating conducive environment for efficient markets.

IMF Revised Nigeria’s economic growth forecast Upwards to 3.4%

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) revised its projection for Nigeria’s economic growth in 2022 by 0.7% to 3.4% from its earlier forecasts (2.7%) in January 2022. This was on the premise that the rise in global oil price will improve the growth prospect of Nigeria in 2022. However, Nigeria may fail to benefit from this higher oil prices due to sub-optimal production as a result of oil theft and vandalism. This has implications for foreign exchange earnings and government finances. The multilateral agency is also forecasting a 3.1% growth rate in 2023.

They are projecting that the global economy will contract to 3.6% in 2022 from 6.1 % in 2021 as a result of the war on Ukraine, and sanctions on Russia. Beyond 2023, global growth is projected to decline to about 3.3% over the medium term.

In this edition of the FDC bi-monthly publication, the FDC Think-Tank analyzes these issues and their implications on businesses and the economy at large.

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