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39% of Nigerian Middle Class Are Self-Employed, 44% Actively Make Savings

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A recent study by Standard Chartered Bank and research consultancy firm Globescan has revealed that 39% of Nigerian middle income earners are self-employed, 41% have only completed high school, 44% will continually save and only 30% are optimistic about a better future in Nigeria.
Previously, we have critically examined the behavior and aspirations of middle income earners and Ghana and Kenya and our appraisal of Africa’s largest economy are sure startling.
Using a sample space of 1000 middle-income earners, across different sectors the Standard Chartered – Globescan report was released. We have taken a step further to critically appraise the content of the report.


                       EDUCATION                          EMPLOYMENT
Education - Employment

Education – Employment


  •  Our Findings – The subject of education coupled with the education to employment saga, has been over flogged but cannot be over emphasized. Within the last three years – 2012 , 2013, 2014, the Federal government has allotted 8.43%, 8.67% and 9.11% respectively from her budgets to the educational sector. This has been regarded as one of the lowest allocations compared to other African countries and the 26% benchmark for developing countries. An MDG report presents that, the South-West and South-East Regions of Nigeria records high primary school enrollment ranging from 43.9 – 98%, while the North-East, North-West and North-Central regions of Nigeria have low rates descending from 43.8 – 1.3%. Furthermore the statistics revealed a drop in the ratio of secondary to university completion, which I traced to few spaces in the universities. Very high dropouts rates are due to financial challenges, frustrations and mediocrity which are almost second nature in the system. Although it is critical to acknowledge the failing quality of learning. This productivity, skill and infrastructure gap ,as noted by Mckinsey, has incapacitated many in the labour market, and a very few who call themselves “entrepreneurs”, lack adequate preparation and empowerment thereby producing less quality products, always wanting to outsmart the next man, and worse still are clustered in the informal economy, which holds a 60% potential of the Nigerian GDP.


  • FUTURE ECONOMIC EXPECTATIONS –Nigeria is currently an Import dependent nation, heavily consuming what she does not produce and producing what she does not consume. With an heavy dependency on oil, which has crippled the structure of the economy coupled with the extractive nature of institutions, there is even and ever increasing economic, social and gender inequality challenge. Despite these, the Standard Chartered report revealed that 30% of Nigerians are highly confident of the future prospects of Nigeria, while 36% have some doubts. I AM PROUD TO SAY I BELONG TO THE FIRST CATEGORY. More so, our findings reveal that the pessimistic percentage of Nigerians, are doubtful due to her current challenges.
Future economic Expectation

Future economic Expectation

  •  THE WEALTH NOTION AND ANTICIPATED SPENDING- Following the study, results reveal that, the amount saved by middle class Nigerians(52%) is key to feeling wealthier. 44% insisted they will save more and 45% will spend and save as a way of managing their finances. It is worthy of note that, Nigerians are the most optimistic in Africa that they can afford the best education for their children in the next five years.
  •  Our Findings– Though we are a quite skeptical about the study report on the Nigerian savings culture. This is because the generality of Nigerians spend more than they save. Only a few who really save do so to reduce their cash at hand per time. The lack of confidence in the Nation’s financial system is a contributing factor to the savings deficiency.
  • USE OF TECHNOLOGY – The study shows, 51% use technology for social networking, 34% to keep up with news and current affairs, 28% on studying/education, 8% on shopping, 6% on online banking.


Finally, I welcome you to the unveiling of Ese, a 37-year-old Nigerian with three children. She runs a business she started small some years ago and consequently employs herself. Ese is confident that her personal finances are set to improve in the next five years. She uses her smartphone to keep in touch with friends on Facebook, tweet about Nigerian politics and get update on her favorite entertainment artiste. Luxury brands appeal to her and she expects to be able to purchase such high-end brands in the future. – Standard Chartered, Globescan and Spectacles Study

The analysis just got hotter, as I intend to do a comparative analysis and discuss the economic implications.

Image Source: Notes from Nigeria

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About Author

CRO – Project Change Initiative A 21st Century Leadership, Organizational and Economic Development Strategist For comments, please visit Obele Jesuite on facebook, on twitter, gospel_obele@yahoo.com. For email: or contact 08130070991.

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