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Nigeria’s unemployment rate rises to 5% in Q3 2023—NBS

Nigeria’s unemployment rate increased significantly in the third quarter of 2023, rising by 0.8percent from the second quarter (Q2) 2023, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said.

In its ‘Nigeria Labour Force Survey Q3 2023’ report published on Monday, the NBS said the country’s unemployment rate rose sharply from the 4.2percent recorded in Q2 2023 to 5.0percent in Q3 2023.

According to the statistics office, approximately 4.1percent of the working-age population engaged in subsistence agriculture, reflecting a specific sector’s employment dynamics.

The labor force participation rate dipped to 79.5percent in Q3 2023, down from 80.4percent in Q2 2023, indicating a shrinking active workforce.

Giving a breakdown of the statistics, the Bureau said, “The employment-to-population ratio was 75.6percent in Q3 2023 with a decrease of 1.5percent compared to a ratio of Q2 2023.

“The combined rate of unemployment and time-related underemployment as a share of the labour force population (LU2) increased to 17.3percent in Q3 2023 from 15.5percent in Q2 2023.

“About 87.3percent of workers were self-employed in Q3 2023.

“The proportion of workers in Wage Employment in Q3 2023 was 12.7percent.

“The rate of unemployment among persons with post-secondary education was 7.8 percent in Q3 2023.”

The NBS said unemployment rate among youth aged (15-24 years) was 8.6percent in Q3 2023, recording an ncrease of 1.4percent compared to Q2 2023.

“The unemployment rate in urban areas was 6.0percent in Q3 2023, a slight increase of 0.1percent from Q2 2023.

“Time-related underemployment in Q3 2023 was 12.3percent, showing a slight increase of 0.5percent from the rate recorded in Q2 2023. This shows an increase of 1.4percent compared to the rate in Q4 2022.

Informal employment rate in Q3 2023 was 92.3percent, while Q2 2023 was 92.7percent.

“Percentage of youth Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET Rate) was 13.7percent in Q3 2023,” the report added.

In response to the evolving labour market landscape and the need for cross-country comparability, Nigeria embraced new guidelines set forth by the International Labour Organization (ILO’s) 19th International Conference of Labor Statisticians (ICLS) in 2014. These guidelines advocated for a broader measurement of labour underutilization, recognizing all forms of work, paid or unpaid. The new standards also aimed to integrate labour statistics with GDP, thereby providing a more holistic understanding of labour’s contribution to the economy.

The previous methodology, based on ILO’s 1983 guidelines, failed to capture the dynamics of the modern labour market, including the significant informal sector and the prevalence of unpaid work in Nigeria. By acknowledging and accounting for these aspects, the new methodology sheds light on a more accurate representation of the employment landscape.

The new methodology has however faced criticism with arguments against its inconsistent application of the 19th ICLS resolution, and overly broad definition of “employed”. It is worth noting that one of the major advantages of the new methodology is its capturing of the informal sector. Also, factoring in the minimum wage rate and its dollar equivalent will buttress that the unemployment figure doesn’t accurately reveal the general living standard.

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Ebonyi denies borrowing from World Bank, IMF

The Ebonyi State Government has denied that it  borrowed from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund contrary to a report by the Debt Management Office.

The DMO had reported that the Ebonyi State under the current administration led by Governor Francis Nwifuru, was among the 17 states that had borrowed $125.1 million (N111.24 billion) from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Debunking the report, the Ebonyi State Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Leonard Uguru, said  Nwifuru had not borrowed from either internal or foreign creditors since he assumed office on May 29, 2023.

He said:  “Since the inception of this administration, the Ebonyi State Government has not borrowed any money, whether foreign or domestic loans. So, any organisation that’s writing that Ebonyi is among the states that have borrowed money, I don’t know where they are getting their data.

“Among the South East states, Ebonyi is still the least in both domestic and foreign debts. Even though we have a trace of debt, which is the 150 million dollar loan from Africa Development Bank and Islamic Bank inherited from the past administration in the reconstruction of Ring Road, which is what made the loan increase, it is worth it as the road cuts across various local government areas of the state. Outside that, I don’t think there’s any other debt owed by the previous state government.”

 

 

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Dangote refinery reduces price of diesel to N1,000

Diesel hits N350/litre, surges by 56% in one year

In an impressive move, Dangote Petroleum Refinery has announced further reduction of the price of diesel from 1200 to 1,000 naira per litre.

While rolling out the products, the refinery supplied at a substantially reduced price of N1,200 per litre three weeks ago, representing over 30 per cent reduction from the previous market price of about N1,600 per litre.

This significant reduction in the price of diesel, at Dangote Petroleum Refinery, is expected to positively affect all the spheres of the economy and ultimately reduce the high inflation rate in the country.

Recall, Aliko Dangote, on Wednesday, in Lagos, said Nigerians should expect a drop in inflation given the reduction of diesel pump prices by two-thirds.

“In our refinery, we started selling diesel at about ₦1,200 for ₦1,650 and I’m sure as we go along this can help to bring inflation down immediately,” Dangote told journalists after he paid Eid-el-Fitr homage to President Bola Tinubu at his residence.

The businessman said his petroleum refinery had been selling diesel at ₦1,200 per litre, compared to the previous price of ₦1,650 – ₦1,700.

He expressed hopes that Nigeria’s economy will improve, as the naira has made some gains in the foreign exchange market, dropping from ₦1,900/$ to the current level of ₦1,250 – ₦1,300.

Dangote said this rise in value has sparked a gradual drop in the price of locally-produced goods such as rice and flour, as businesses are paying less for diesel.

Therefore, the reduced fuel costs would drive down inflation in the coming months, he asserted.

“I believe that we are on the right track. I believe Nigerians have been patient and I also believe that a lot of goodies will now come through. There’s quite a lot of improvement because if you look at it, one of the major issues that we’ve had was the naira devaluation that has gone very aggressively up to about ₦1,900.

“But right now, we’re back to almost ₦1,250, ₦1,300, which is a good reprieve. Quite a lot of commodities went up. When you go to the market, for example, something that we produce locally like flour, people will charge you more. Why? Because they’re paying very high diesel prices.

“Now, in our refinery, we started selling diesel at about ₦1,200 instead of ₦1,650 and I’m sure as we go along, things will continue to improve quite a lot,” Dangote stated.

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NCAA suspends three private jet operators for operating commercial flights

N46bn debt: NCAA threatens to withdraw airlines’ licences

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has suspended the permit of three private jet operators for engaging in commercial flights.

Acting Director-General of NCAA, Capt. Chris Najomo, disclosed this to newsmen on Tuesday in Lagos.

Najomo said that after issuing a stern warning to the PNCFs in March, the authority deployed its men to monitor activities of private jet owners at airport terminals across the country.

He said that consequent upon the heightened surveillance, three private operators were found to have violated the annexure provisions of their PNCF and Part 9114 of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations, 2023.

“In line with our zero-tolerance policy for violations of regulations, the Authority has suspended the PNCF of these operators.

“To further sanitize the general aviation sector, I have directed a re-evaluation of all PNCF holders to be carried out by April 19, 2024, to ascertain compliance with regulatory requirements. All PNCF holders will be required to submit relevant documents to the authority within the next 72 hours.

“This directive also applies to existing Air Operator Certificate (AOC) holders who utilize aircraft listed on their PNCF for commercial charter operations.

“It is important to emphasize that only aircraft listed in the Operation Specifications of the AOC are authorized for use in providing such charter services. Any AOC holder wishing to use aircraft for charter operations must apply to the NCAA to delist the affected aircraft from the PNCF and include it in the AOC operations specification.”

The NCAA reiterated to the traveling public not to patronise any charter airline operator lacking a valid Air Operator’s Certificate issued by the NCAA when seeking charter operation services.

NCAA also encouraged legitimate players in the aviation industry to promptly report the activities of such unscrupulous elements to the authority for necessary action.

 

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