Optimizing the Concept of Place-Making as a Panacea for Informality in Urban Areas of Developing Countries. (Published)
Informal settlements are pervasive in urban areas of developing countries. They dominate a greater percent of the cities and are characterized by poor infrastructure supply, degraded environment and poverty. Most revitalization efforts ignored informality and so fail. Yet the essence of informality speaks of the indomitable will and perseverance of the urban poor to partake in formality in the face of lack of infrastructure, services and amenities. Within this essence of informality is contained some design elements that have been used as catalyst to trigger change in place-making in some parts of the world. These elements, though untested in developing countries, have been found to work as facilitators of change in developed countries. Place-making is a concept where social and political processes are used to create value and meaning in a particular setting. This paper therefore explores the existing principles of informality found in African settlements, and compares them to urban design elements that have facilitated revitalization in developed countries with a view to making a case for the use of place-making as a possible initial approach for shaping informality in developing countries.
Following the dearth of empirical evidence on the response of domestic savings to informality in Nigeria, this study examined the impact of informality on domestic savings in Nigeria for the period 1970 to 2011 as a means of providing evidence based policies that will enhance the growth and development of the Nigerian economy. The study employed time series analysis using the OLS estimation procedure. The estimation results of the long run model indicate that informality hinders the growth of domestic savings, while the degree of financial depth impacts significantly and positively on domestic savings in Nigeria. It was also found that the growth rate of real per capita income impacts positively on domestic savings, even though it is not statistically significant in the long run. Based on these findings, we recommended that policy makers and the government should seek to improve the linkage between the formal and informal sectors in Nigeria as this would have a strong positive impact on domestic savings. Deposit money banks and the monetary authority should evolve policies aimed at reaching the unbanked informal sector agents, especially the rural households and the urban informal production units in order to deepen the financial sector and assist in mobilizing the much needed savings that will engender investment and growth in Nigeria. Also, development policy in Nigeria should focus on increasing the productive base of the economy in order to promote real income per capita growth and reduce unemployment.
A Panel Data Analysis of the Impact of Informality on the Liquidity of Deposit Money Banks in Nigeria (Published)
One of the major components of the overall Nigerian economy is the informal sector. Transactions in this sector are conducted mainly in cash to avoid official detection, and this is capable of starving the banking system of the deposits needed to improve its liquidity. This is the first study that empirically examined the impact of informality on the liquidity of the banking system in Nigeria. The results indicate that informality impacts negatively on the liquidity of deposit money banks in Nigeria. Specifically, we found that a unit increase in the size of the informal sector results in 7.44% deterioration in the liquidity of deposit money banks. Based on these findings, the study recommends that deposit money banks in Nigeria should pursue policies and products that will assist them to capture the huge economic activities taking place in the informal sector, while the government (through the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN) should also reconsider its policies that are capable of driving economic units underground. The study concludes that deposit money banks in Nigeria must work together with the CBN to achieve an all inclusive banking system, thereby reducing the negative impact of informality on the liquidity of deposit money banks in Nigeria.