Nigeria Economic Update Issue 1 January 2019

This brief report firstly discusses rising unemployment; 1)Considered as a looming crisis, Nigeria’s unemployment rate has continued to deteriorate. Based on the new data released by the NBS unemployment rate stood at 23.1% in 2018 Q3, up from the previous quarter’s 18.8 percent. This implies that 3.3 million people became unemployed during the quarter, increasing the total figure to 20.9 million people. The following heading is: 2)Rising Domestic Debt ; The Nigerian government continued with the legacy of excessive debt in 2018Q3 as debt stock rose slightly to N22.43 trillion2 up from N22.37 trillion in 2018Q23 and N20.37 trillion in 2017Q24 . The rise in debt manifested in domestic borrowings which rose by N180 billion, quarter-overquarter, to N15.81 trillion. This is occurring despite the plan to restructure the debt portfolio in favour of external debt. Thirdly, 3)Declining Gender Parity: Based on new rankings, gender gap in Nigeria has widened, reversing some past progress. The World Economic Forum (WEF) ranked Nigeria 133rd out of 149 countries globally to have achieved gender parity in 2018 7 -the country fell to that position from 118th position in 2016. The low rank is equivalent to exemplifying shrinkage of political, educational, health and survival opportunities for Nigerian women. Overall economic participation by women has dwindled: compared to 60 percent for men, women labour force participation was 50 percent and women earned an estimated income that is 65 percent less than what was earned by men. 4)Rising Tax revenue: Revenue generated from VAT in 2018Q3 amounted to N273.5 billion10, a quarter-over-quarter increase of 2.54 percent and year-on-year of 9.16 percent. The quarter on quarter increase was largely driven by Nigeria Custom Service VAT which rose by 52 percent from N56.3 billion in 2018 Q2 to N86 billion in 2018Q311. In the section titled: Economic snapshot - revised figures is supplied on the quaterly and monthly indicators.