Nigeria’s Unemployment, Poverty Rates Increased In 2017 – World Bank

Nigeria ’ s unemployment and underemployment rates increased in 2017 , the World Bank has said .

A statement issued by the World Bank in Abuja on Monday night showed that this was indicated in its report , ‘ Nigeria Bi- annual Economic Update’ .

According to the report , Nigeria emerged from recession in 2017 , but poverty in the country increased slightly .

Titled ‘ Connecting to Compete ’ , the report stated that Nigeria ’ s Gross Domestic Product growth reached 0 . 8 per cent , driven by an expansion in oil output and continued steady growth in agriculture.

The World Bank said , “The decline in the non – oil, non -agriculture sector , however , continued , as aggregate demand remained weak and private sector credit low .

“The rates of unemployment and underemployment increased in 2017 and poverty is estimated to have increased slightly . Gross Domestic Product growth in 2018 is expected to hover just over two per cent , largely oil sector -driven.

“ Nigeria has a big home market , which is constrained by limited connective infrastructure, thereby reducing producers and firms ’ ability to reach wider markets . ”

It added , “This lack of connectivity dampens economic collaboration and cooperation among the country’ s regions , limiting market integration and reducing producers and firms ’ ability to reach wider markets .

“ Spatial fragmentation and limited connections also hurt welfare and prospects for poverty reduction . ”

The Global Lead , Territorial Development , World Bank, Somik Lall, said that spatial integration and sub – national specialisation were key to creating a nationally -integrated market for goods and services as well as attracting much- needed private investments, which in turn could enhance productivity through scale and specialisation .

According to the World Bank, Nigeria will benefit from policies to promote spatial integration and sub – national specialisation , which will stimulate diversified and long -term growth .

This can be achieved through market specialisation and differentiated positioning strategies for industrial clusters across the country , according to the report.

The bank said the key challenge for policymakers at the federal and state levels was to identify interventions (policy , regulatory, institutional and investment , etc. ) that were best suited to realise development potential of sub national regions and integrate domestic markets .

For Nigeria to tap its spatial drivers of development , policymakers may want to focus on investments that reinforce clusters and economies of scale and optimise the connectivity between rural areas and the major urban markets , the bank said .

It added that policymakers must also address structural and land management issues in major urban nodes and along major growth corridors to remove or alleviate barriers that undermine the growth potential .

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