Rivers: Lawmaker frets over state of Nigeria’s economy 

Rivers state assembly lawmaker, Ahiakwo Christian, has expressed concern over the prevailing state of Nigeria’s economy.

Christian, who is a Seventh Day Adventist faithful, expressed the concern in a lecture delivered at a one week Eastern Nigeria Union Conference Adventist Men’s Organisation (AMO) 2020 held at Clifford University, Ihieisiala Ngwa local government area of Abia state.

In his assessment in the lecture titled, “Growing Economically in a Depressed Economy”, he noted that “Nigeria is not the first country to descend into depression, neither the only country currently experiencing depression in the world, but attributed the country’s case to poor economic planning and failure to implement some economic plans where they exist as some major factors responsible for the current depression witnessed in the country.

The AMO resource person re-echoed NBS’ report of 2021, which said Nigeria has the largest poor population in sub-Saharan Africa with 7.9 million in extreme poverty, accounting for 20 percent of the total poor in the region, saying this agreed with the 2020 projection of NBS that 40 percent or 83 million Nigerians live in poverty below 1.9 U.S dollar per day per person.

The lawmaker also made reference to the 2021 first quarter NBS report that the Nigerian unemployment rate hit an all time high of 33.3 percent against the previous record of 27. 1 percent in 2020, depicting it as the second highest in the world.

He noted that, out of 122 million active or working population in the age bracket of 15-64 years in Nigeria, only 46.5 million are in employment while out of these only 30.6 million are in full employment (40 hours plus), while 15.9 million are underemployed (20 hours per week).