- 3.67 Million Nigerians Lost Their Jobs in One Year
The harsh economic situation currently facing the country may have forced about 3.67 million Nigerians into the unemployment market within a one-year period covering October 2015 to September 2016, figures obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics have revealed.
According to an analysis of the unemployment report for the period, which was obtained by our correspondent in Abuja, the number of unemployed Nigerians rose from 7.51 million in the beginning of the October 2015 to 11.19 million at the end of September 2016.
The unemployment report for the fourth quarter of last year covering October to December 2016, which is still being prepared by the NBS, is due for release on March 29 based on the data release calendar of the bureau.
The report added that while the number of those employed rose from 55.21 million in the beginning of the fourth quarter to 69.47 million as of the end of September, the labour force population rose from 75.94 million to 80.66 million.
A breakdown of the 3.67 million unemployed Nigerians showed that about 522,000 people became jobless within the fourth quarter of 2015; while 1.44 million people joined the labour force in the first quarter of 2016.
For the second and third quarters of 2016, further analysis of the unemployment report of the NBS showed that about 1.16 million and 550,000 people entered the labour market in search of jobs.
The NBS report explained that unemployment rate was highest for persons in the labour force between the ages of 15-24 and 25-34, which represents the ‘youth’ population in Nigeria.
For instance, it said the unemployment rate was highest for those within the age group of 15 to 24 rising from 17.8 per cent in the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2015 to 25 per cent as of the end of September 2016.
For the 25-34 age group, the unemployment rate, according to the NBS report increased from 10.8 per cent to 15 per cent as of the end of September 2016.
It noted that unemployment and underemployment were higher for women in the third quarter of 2016.
It said while 15.9 per cent of women in the labour force were unemployed as of the end of the third quarter of 2016, a further 22.9 per cent of women in the labour force were underemployed during the period.
On the other hand, the report said 12 per cent of males were unemployed in the third quarter of 2016, while a further 16.7 per cent of males in the labour force were underemployed during the same period.
“Given that the nature of rural jobs is largely menial and unskilled, such as in agriculture, unemployment is more of a concern in urban areas where more skilled labour is required.
“The unemployment rate in the urban areas was 18.3 per cent compared to 11.8 per cent in the rural areas, as the preference is more for formal white-collar jobs, which are located mostly in urban centres,” the report said.
Commenting on the unemployment rate in the country, the President, Institute of Productivity and Business Innovation Management, Mr. Remi Dairo, said the harsh operating environment may have been responsible for the development.
He said, “The huge number of unemployment is a reflection of the current economic realities as only few businesses are growing and employing while many others are shedding jobs.
“The lack of productive skills in both the private and public sector is one of the major reasons for the country’s underdevelopment and there is need for a comprehensive education policy that would help to address the skill gaps in the country.
“In order to close the existing gaps in skills between the extant programmes of educational institutions and the requirements in the industry, the government needs to restructure the educational system to meet the present and future needs of the country.”
The Registrar, Chartered Institute of Finance and Control of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Eohoi, advised the government to encourage the patronage of locally produced goods to boost economic activities.
He said, “We have to look inward to boost the economy through encouragement of local content by ensuring patronage for locally made goods.
“This would help stimulate production by local industries and thus boost the GDP. Companies like Innoson Motors should be empowered by both the government and the private sector.”
He added, “The government should come up with policies that would encourage investors to set up plants in Nigeria for production rather than spending money importing all these items that are depleting our foreign exchange reserves
“The government should also reduce the interest rate to make funds available to critical sectors of the economy such as agriculture, manufacturing and others.
“Since foreign investors are shying away from investing in the country, we should look inward and encourage our local industries by reducing interest rate and making foreign exchange available to them to continue production.”
Global Oil Drops as Coronavirus Infections Rises in India and Other Nations
Oil prices declined on Monday during the Asian trading session amid rising concerns that the surge in coronavirus in India and other nations could force regulators to enforce stronger measures at curbing its spread and eventually affect economic activity and drag on demand for commodities like crude oil.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, declined by 22 cents or 0.33 percent to $66.55 per barrel at 8:19 am Nigerian time on Monday, following a 6 percent surge last week.
The US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) declined by 18 cents or 0.29 percent to $62.95 per barrel, after it gained 6.4 percent last week.
The decline was after India reported 261,500 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, taking the country’s total cases to almost 14.8 million, second to only the United States that has reported over 31 million coronavirus infections.
“With … a resurgence of virus cases in India and Japan, topside ambitions continue to run into walls of profit-taking,” said Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at Axi.
Businesses in Japan believed the world’s third-largest economy will experience a fourth round of coronavirus infections, with many bracing for an additional slow down in economic activity.
While Japan has had fewer COVID-19 cases when compared with other major economies, concerns about a new wave of infections are fast rising, according to responses in Reuters poll.
On Tuesday, April 20, 2020, Hong Kong will suspend all from India, Pakistan and the Philippines because of imported coronavirus infections, authorities stated in a statement released on Sunday.
India’s COVID-19 death rose by a record 1,501 to hit 177,150.
Global Markets Near Record Peaks and Will Get Stronger: deVere CEO
As the FTSE 100 hits 7,000 points for the first time since the Covid pandemic, global stock markets are poised to “get even stronger”, says the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organisations.
The observation from Nigel Green, the chief executive and founder of deVere Group, comes as London’s index jumped over the important threshold in early trading in London, gaining over 0.5% to 7024 points.
Mr Green notes: “London’s blue-chip index is up 40% since the worst lows of the pandemic.
“This landmark moment represents the wider optimistic sentiment gripping global markets which are near record peaks.
“We can expect global stock markets to get even stronger as investors look to seize the opportunities from economies reopening.
“They are looking towards economies rebounding in a post-pandemic era due to the monetary and fiscal stimulus, pent-up cash and demand, and strong corporate earnings.
“The current ultra-low interest rate environment and the under-performance of bonds will also act as a catalyst for stock markets.”
However, the CEO’s bullish comments also come with a warning.
“I would urge investors to proceed with caution as there are some headwinds on the horizon, including relations between the U.S. and China, the world’s two largest economies, which could be coming to a tipping point in coming weeks.
“As such, in order to capitalise on the opportunities and mitigate risks, investors must ensure proper portfolio diversification.”
Mr Green concludes: “A variety of factors are going to drive global stock markets. Investors will not want to miss out and should work with a good fund manager to judiciously top-up their portfolios.”
Refinitiv Expands Economic Data Coverage Across Africa
Building on its commitment to drive positive change through its data and insights, Refinitiv today announced the expansion of its economic data coverage of Africa. The new data set allows investment managers, central bankers, economists, and research teams to use Refinitiv Datasteam analytical data for detailed exploration of economic relationships and investment opportunities among data series covering the African continent.
Securing reliable, detailed, timely, locally sourced content has not been easy for economists who have in the past had to use international sources which often can take many months to update and opportunities to monitor the market can be missed. Because Africa is a diverse continent, economists and strategists need more timely access to country-specific data via national sources to create tailored business, policy, trading and investment strategies to meet specific goals.
Africa continues to develop critical infrastructure, telecommunications, digital technology and access to financial services for its 1.3bn people. The World Bank estimates that over 50% of African inhabitants will be under 25 by 2050. This presents substantial opportunities for investors who can spot important trends and make informed decisions based on robust and timely economic data.
Stuart Brown, Group Head of Enterprise Data Solutions, Refinitiv, said: “Africa’s growing, dynamic and fast evolving economies makes it a focal point for financial markets today and in the coming decades. As part of LSEG’s commitment to empowering the global markets with accurate and timely data, we are excited about making these unique datasets available via the Refinitiv Data Platform. Our economic data coverage of Africa will provide our customers with deeper and broader inputs for macroeconomic analyses and enable more effective investment strategies and economic research.”
Refinitiv Africa economic data coverage:
- Africa economics content comprises around 500,000 nationally sourced time series data covering 54 African nations
- Content is sourced from national statistical offices, central banks and other key national institutions
- The full breadth of economics categories in Datastream including national accounts, money and finance, prices, surveys, labor market, consumer, industry, government and external sectors
- International sources including OECD, World Bank, IMF, African Development Bank, Oxford Economics & more provide comparable data & forecasts across the continent
Refinitiv® Datastream® has global macroeconomics coverage to analyze virtually any macro environment, and better understand economic cycles to uncover trends and forecast market conditions. With over 14.2 million economic times series map trends, customers can validate ideas and identify opportunities using Refinitiv Datastream. Access its powerful charting tools, 9,000 pre-built chart templates and chart studies for commonly used valuation, performance, and technical and fundamental analysis.
Refinitiv continually grows available data – the China expansion in 2019 covered a unique combination of economic and financial indicators. Refinitiv plans to expand Southeast Asia covering Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia with delivery expected in 2021. This ensures that Refinitiv will have much needed emerging market economic content.
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