By Simon Akoje
Financial experts have urged the incoming administration to embark on reforms that will enhance the country’s business climate to spur economic growth and tackle rising unemployment.
The experts spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.
Dr Uju Ogubunka, a former Executive Secretary, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, said the incoming government should embrace economic policies that would improve the business operating environment for corporates to create more jobs.
Ogubunka added that the incoming government should upon inauguration immediately address the uncertainties in the economy to tackle unemployment.
“More efforts should be made in addressing the structural challenges impeding inflow of foreign direct investment into our shores.
“Issues relating to insecurity must be reduced to the barest minimum so as to enhance investor confidence in the economy,” he said.
He added that the incoming government should invest in key infrastructure that would create more employment opportunities.
“Investing more funds to fix the electricity challenges is crucial to industrialising the economy.
“This will make the youth to be innovative and begin to create job opportunities in every sector of the economy,” Ogubunka said.
Also speaking, Prof. Sheriffdeen Tella, Head of Department of Economics, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, said the government could tackle unemployment through supporting local production and not importation.
“Enhancing local production with the right fiscal and monetary policies, is crucial to boost the economy,” Tella said.
This, he said, would boost businesses that would lead to more employment opportunities for the teeming youth.
Tella added that the Federal Government should address the rising unemployment by subsidising electricity cost for the productive sector.
“Subsidising electricity cost and raw materials for production is key to growing the economy.
“More businesses will begin to emerge and the teeming youth would be gainfully employed and become professionals,” Tella said.
Mr Nerus Ekezie, former Director National Association of Small and Medium Enterprise, said the incoming government should tackle unemployment by investing more in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Ekezie added that regular dialogues between the government and the various stakeholders in the SME sector was crucial for their expansion.
“The dialogue should not only include the stakeholders in production but also the service units so as to be considered in government interventions,” he said.
Ekezie said the incoming government could boost the sector by granting tax holidays and foreign exchange for SMEs to enhance their businesses and create employment opportunities.
“Such interventions will spur growth in the SMEs sector and more youths could be employed because of their expansion to new frontiers,” Ekezie said.
NAN reports that KPMG, a multinational consulting firm, in a recent released report tagged ‘KPMG Global Economy Outlook, H1 2023,’ noted that the Nigerian unemployment rate had increased to 37.7 per cent in 2022.
The report further said that the figure would rise to 40.6 per cent due to the continuing inflow of job seekers.
It said unemployment would continue to be a challenge due to the slower-than-required economic growth and the inability of the economy to absorb the four to five million new entrants into the Nigerian job market every year.
The report also said that in 2024, the unemployment rate would grow to 43 per cent, while inflation rate would accelerate to 20.3 per cent in 2023 and 20.0 per cent in 2024. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma