- Report: Nigeria’s Rising Population a Ticking Time Bomb
The failure by policymakers in Nigeria to match the rising rate of reproduction with a corresponding level of productivity in the country, “has set the stage for a ticking time bomb,” a report has warned.
Lagos-based investment and financial advisory company, the Financial Derivatives Company Limited (FDC), stated this in its latest bi-monthly economic update obtained yesterday.
While Nigeria recorded Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 1.93 per cent in 2018, the country’s population growth rate is currently at about three per cent.
In fact, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on Monday stated that Nigeria’s population currently stands at an all-time high of 201 million, representing an increase of 5.1 million from the 195.9 million it said the country had in October last year.
The UNFPA in its 2019 State of the World Population report published on its website, had said the country’s annual growth rate has been at an average of 2.6 per cent from 2010 to 2019.
But the FDC in the report, stressed that Nigeria’s population “is large and growing.”
“According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), Nigeria’s population is set to more than double by 2050 to reach 400 million and overtake the United States as the third most populated country in the world.
“This forecast of seemingly exponential growth in population is not necessarily a dire development. However, a failure to match the high rate of reproduction with a corresponding level of productivity has set the stage for what is a ticking time bomb.
“The year 2050 may still be more than 30 years down the road from today but Nigeria will not have to wait till then to be faced with the consequences of its population explosion and the lack of adequate infrastructure and development. “Much of it is clear and apparent. Nigeria was recently named the poverty capital of the world – overtaking much larger India, projected to rise sharply as the population boom continues without matching economic growth,” it added.
According to United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the number of out of school children in Nigeria has risen to over 10 million – the largest in the world – even though primary education is free and officially compulsory.
The university system is in dire need of increased capacity as less than 30 per cent of the over 10 million applicants gained admission, the FDC report stated.
For the few that manage to pass through the educational system, rapidly rising unemployment remains a major source of anxiety.
The latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics also showed the unemployment rate has more than doubled since the end of 2015.
It currently stands at 23.1 per cent compared to 10 cent at the end of 2015. This, the report noted was likely to worsen in the years to come as population growth currently exceeds GDP growth.
“This implies that there are more people being born, and in turn, more people joining the laboußr force than there are jobs being created,” it stated.
Continuing, the report pointed out that even the highly educated and skilled Nigerians are not left out of the scramble, “to escape the current economic uncertainty for a better life overseas.” “Canada is the new destination of choice due to its liberal immigration policies. However, this emigrant demographic does present one of the few bright spots for Nigeria.
“Remittances by Nigerians in Diaspora have been on the rise for over a decade now,” it added.
According to PwC, Nigeria has become one of the top five nations with high remittance inflows globally, and the largest remittance-receiving country in Africa.
“Faced with dire employment prospects, Nigerians are fleeing Many Nigerians have left and are still fleeing the country in search of proverbial greener pastures.” According to the world population review, Nigeria has a net migration per day of -164.
“This number means that 164 people emigrate more out of Nigeria than immigrate on a daily basis. “This works out to one net migrant every nine minutes. Many are sold on the promise of a better life and brave terrible odds in an attempt to reach Europe via the Sahara desert and the Mediterranean Sea.
“Sadly, many have ended up in a life of slavery or have become trapped in sex trafficking rings. The number of Nigerian men, women and children being registered at landing points in Italy has risen dramatically in recent years,” the report stated.
NLNG Boosts Cooking Gas Production to 1.5 Million Metric Tonnes Annually
Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) has announced a significant milestone in its operations, boosting its annual production of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), commonly known as cooking gas, to over 1.5 million metric tonnes.
This surge in production underscores NLNG’s commitment to meeting the rising demand for clean cooking energy in Nigeria.
The entirety of NLNG’s 1.5 million tonnes production is now being sold domestically within Nigeria.
Moreover, the company has initiated a landmark shift by starting to supply LPG in naira, moving away from the traditional practice of trading in United States dollars.
This move aligns with calls from stakeholders in the oil and power sectors advocating for naira transactions, especially amidst the challenges posed by currency fluctuations.
During a panel session at the 7th Nigeria International Energy Summit in Abuja, NLNG’s General Manager of Finance, Fatima Adanan, highlighted the company’s dedication to enhancing LPG penetration across the country.
Adanan emphasized NLNG’s vision to make Nigeria a better place by promoting the use of cleaner energy sources like gas.
While NLNG’s production surge is commendable, Adanan acknowledged that Nigeria’s LPG requirements surpass the current output, necessitating imports to bridge the gap.
However, NLNG remains committed to expanding its production capacity to meet the nation’s energy needs and drive increased adoption of LPG as a cleaner cooking fuel.
CBN Raises Benchmark Interest Rate by 400 Basis Points to 22.75%
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has raised the benchmark interest rate by 400 basis points to a record 22.75%.
The decision made by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) comes amidst rising inflationary pressures and growing uncertainty in Africa’s largest economy.
Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 29.90% in January 2024, the highest in over two decades while the nation’s unemployment rate quickened to 5% in the third quarter of 2023. Suggesting that the rising costs have continued to drag on both new job creation and the existing ones.
This coupled with a series of policy adjustments implemented by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has plunged economic productivity and eroded consumer spending as citizens grapple with high fuel prices, electricity tariffs, a record-high foreign exchange rate, and insecurities.
Therefore, it is surprising that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) led by the CBN will further increase borrowing costs by 400 basis points at a time when job creation is paramount.
While the economy reportedly grew by 3.46% in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023 on the back of robust performance of the services sector, this growth is yet to crystalise as businesses and citizens have taken to the street protest against the harsh economic situation.
Economic experts have started questioning the data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) given its lack of correlation between the data and economic reality.
President Tinubu Unveils Geometric Power Plant in Aba After 20-Year Wait
After two decades of anticipation, President Bola Tinubu, through his representative Vice President Kashim Shettima, inaugurated the long-awaited Geometric Power Plant in Aba, a significant milestone in the city’s quest for reliable electricity supply.
The event, which also saw the commissioning of three rehabilitated roads by Abia State Governor Alex Otti, symbolizes the culmination of years of perseverance and determination to transform Aba’s power landscape.
Addressing the audience, Vice President Shettima hailed the project as a testament to the power of visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to progress.
He said the Geometric Power Plant exemplifies the transformative impact of strategic infrastructure investments on local communities.
Governor Otti echoed similar sentiments, emphasizing the importance of the power project in positioning Aba as a hub for national and international business ventures.
He commended the efforts of Geometric Power Limited while urging them to uphold transparency and avoid exploiting consumers.
The inauguration of the Geometric Power Plant comes amidst growing concerns over Nigeria’s power infrastructure and the need for sustainable solutions to address electricity shortages.
The project, with a capacity of 188MW, holds promise for significant improvements in power supply across Abia State, benefitting nine out of seventeen local government areas.
The Managing Director of Geometric Power Limited, Ben Caven, underscored the scale of investment involved, totaling $800 million.
He highlighted the comprehensive nature of the project, which includes the installation of new power substations and a 27km natural gas pipeline, signaling a comprehensive approach to enhancing Aba’s energy infrastructure.
In conclusion, the inauguration of the Geometric Power Plant represents a transformative moment for Aba, offering renewed hope for economic growth and prosperity powered by reliable electricity supply.
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