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It’s been a priority with the Nigerian government, for over a decade to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), but FDI growth and success peaked in this present Administration with the introduction of a Ministry for Trade and Investment, and wowing investments in recent months. FDI and local investment have been growing, keeping the Nigerian economy at a GDP of more than 6% annually, providing those in the labour force with more hiring options.  The government, committed to attracting investments and keeping them, has taken infrastructural development to heart, improving power supply, roads and other conditions at certain locations. The government is also working on its macroeconomic policies to boost investor confidence, as well as microeconomic policies like the recent, Revised Regulatory and Supervisory Guidelines for Microfinance Banks and other steps. Per Capita GDP however is at dangerous lows, with majority having $1000 – or less, in income per annum. More people presently are enrolled in schools, while birth rate is high and quality of public education is marginally improving. Low-income parents understand the difference that education can make, and find it necessary to get their children educated. The growing number of graduates per year, therefore and more jobs to fit in, is making Nigeria gather a new set of middle class that will stabilize in a few years. More than 100 million Nigerians are said to be below poverty line, not being able to afford a quality life – just impossible without money. Graduate incomes are from around $200 up – monthly, with skill and performance likely to improve earnings and prompt promotion, in a few months of getting on the job. Banks pay as high as $400 to $500 for cashiers, certain marketers, as well as sales offices of several organizations. There are however higher incomes roles in organizations, including banks, insurance firms, telecommunication companies, tech companies and oil & gas where pay starts from $1500 per month, for entry staff. Competition for these jobs is higher, with many reporting nepotism or cronyism for appointment. However, merits – qualification, grades, tests & interview success, and experience – count, to be considered. So with a higher education certificate, there are chances to go from below poverty line to, the middle class, and steady there before (maybe) rising to upper-middle class or wealthy class. The high report of unemployment in Nigeria, seem to defile this projection, but things are better for individuals, with skills, good cover letters, adequately prepared for job tests and interviews, and performance on present employment or previous employment. Nigeria’s middle class is projected to grow, from this year, and steady from 2015 and beyond, given the rate of investments and expansion of businesses. More working class people, or those in business, can now afford things ‘earmarked’ for the wealthy a few years back, such as better apartments, cars, use and maintenance of pay-TV, computers and access to the internet, and good savings. Government economists and finance chiefs have these projections, see consumer spending growing and know how much steadying it depend on their near term and medium term policies. For Nigeria, its emerging middle class will add to reduction in corruption, emigration, certain crime, bribery and insurgency, so it is the responsibility of the Government to foster their emergence.

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This article was first published on 14th January 2013 and updated on April 10th, 2013 at 11:20 am

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