The recent ban on street trading by the Lagos State government apart from posing security threat may slowdown economic growth as informal trading, comprising hawking and street trading, accounts for 10 percent of Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP), according to figures obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Flagging off the danger posed by the Lagos ban on street trading, Yemi Kale, Director General of NBS, recently tweeted that “informal trading of which hawking is a part thus accounts for 10% of total Nigeria’s GDP, bigger than crude production”.
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Crude oil production accounts for 6.4 percent of GDP, closely following telecoms, which contributed 8.7 percent in 2015, according to NBS figures.
Kale said Lagos accounts for the highest number of informal sector activity at 8.7 percent, which is two times bigger than Kano, the second highest at 4.8 percent, meaning that these two states would suffer most from an absence of informal trading because of their respective levels of exposure.
Going by NBS estimations, which put informal sector contributions to GDP at 41.8 percent or about $217.3 billion to the country’s $520 billion nominal GDP in 2015 and informal trading accounting for about 10 percent, potentially about $52 billion or N14.6 trillion could be knocked off the national economy if informal trading is stifled in Lagos, the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria.