By Mbakaan Kwen,
The economic growth in Nigeria has continued to face some challenges and threats to achieving its full productivity potentials.
In a data released by the National Bureau of Statistics, the report stated in part that “the growing unemployment rate of 14.2 per cent in the fourth quarter, up from 13.9 per cent in the third quarter, coupled with existing infrastructural challenges, remain considerable threats to realizing Nigeria’s full economic and productivity potentials”.
According to the report, the overall level of productivity was high; however there were several challenges that generally impacted on output and labour, and indirectly on labour productivity, keeping it below optimal levels. Some of the issues faced during the quarter were spilled over from Q1 through Q2 and Q3, 2016.
Investment in the economy was still relatively low, though some government investments were recorded during the quarter, the volume of private investment and foreign direct investments was still considerably low compared to previous years. Power was relatively stable during the quarter, which partly accounted for the increase in Labour productivity but was still lower than the required levels.
The nature of productivity in the fourth quarter reveals the main drivers of the growth in labour productivity. The agriculture sector recorded a growth of 3.39 per cent, the highest among any major economic activity, with the part of the fourth quarter being the harvest season in the Nigerian agricultural calendar, this may well have added to the growth in labour productivity in Q4, 2016.. Other major activities that contributed to productivity during the quarter are transportation and the creative sectors of the economy, though both activities relatively low weights compared to other activities like agriculture, their strong growth during the quarter and the high number of labour they engage would have contributed to the labour productivity during the quarter.