Nigeria’s informal sector accounts for as much as an estimated 57.9 percent of the nation’s rebased Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Daouda Toure, United Nations resident coordinator/representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Nigeria, disclosed on Tuesday.
This, perhaps, makes the country the largest destination for informal activities in Africa.
Toure said the study identified lack of access to credit; poor technical know-how; inadequate training opportunities, infrastructure deficit, and incoherence of the formal and informal sectors, amongst many others, as factors which inhibit the growth of the informal sector in the country.
He noted that although the informal sector has been expanding rapidly in the 21st century, its specific role in the economic development of many countries is yet to be fully documented while relationships between it, economic growth, and poverty are not fully clear.
In his opening address at the workshop, Bashir Yuguda, supervising minister of the National Planning Commission, said the comprehensive study was the first on the informal sector of the nation’s economy in the last ten years.
He also observed that the potential of the sector in providing employment for the teeming population, reducing poverty and contributing to the nation’s GDP growth aspirations cannot be overemphasised.
He, however, raised the concern that despite these anticipated benefits, there are still knowledge gaps about the character and appropriate role of the informal sector in Nigeria.
He said it was in realisation of this that the study has not only assessed the contribution of the informal sector to the Nigeria’s economic development, but has also undertaken an in-depth appraisal of the characteristics of the sector, including issues of size, structure, processes and practices, while exploring the prospects for integrating it into formal economy.
I’m looking forward to seeing this research.