An important source of income in Nigeria is oil. Over 90 percent of all export value derives from the trading of mineral fuels, oils, and distillation products. In fact, Nigeria is one of the key oil producing countries globally, the ninth largest exporter in terms of value, and has one of the main oil reserves in the world. A look at the growing export markets of Nigeria reveals that this sector experienced a decrease in terms of export value between 2018 and 2019. After natural resources, the second largest export sector is those of ships, boats and other floating structures. This industry grew significantly in recent years. In particular, the exports of vessels, boats, docks, and ships from Nigeria recorded the highest annual percentage changes.
Nigeria recorded one of the highest inflation rates worldwide in 2019, reaching 11.3 percent. In 2020, this figure peaked at almost 13 percent in urban areas, whereas in rural areas the inflation rate was slightly lower. Data on CPI (Consumer Price Index) show that inflation keeps rising in the country. In the last months, the index stood at over 300 points. The CPI measures changes in the price level of the market basket of goods and services purchased by households. Therefore, an increasing CPI might indicate that the Nigerian purchase power is decreasing. The CPI of food in particular is even higher, peaking at almost 350 points.
Governmental data from Nigeria report a very high unemployment rate. In 2018, almost 21 million people in Nigeria were unemployed, which equaled 23 percent of the labor force. The south-eastern states registered the highest unemployment rates nationwide. For instance, in Akwa Ibon, Rivers, Bayelsa and Cross Rivers, the figures ranged from 30 percent to 38 percent. Mostly young people were affected by unemployment. Figures on wages in Nigeria show that the living wage for an individual in Nigeria amounts to roughly 111 U.S. dollars per month. In 2019, the minimum wage of 30 thousand Naira (about 77 U.S. dollars) became law.