The rate of unemployment in Nigeria may rise to 33.5 per cent next year from the current rate pegged at 23.1 per cent, the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has warned.
According to the body, lack of employment opportunities and the shutdown of several companies are the reasons for the renewed fears.
The Details: Timothy Olawale, Director-General, NECA urged the Federal Government to create the necessary policies that will develop the economy and create more jobs.
In addition, he asked the government to encourage industrialization and tailor its fiscal policies to promote ease of business that will eventually raise people out of poverty.
Olawale’s words: “There is no better time for the government to focus on radical industrialisation of the country to make it the hub of economic activities in the West African sub-region and also ensure Nigeria benefits maximally from the AfCFTA, than now.
“We have consistently taken the lazy path of tax increases that stifle and further burden businesses rather than the ingenious way of promoting and stimulating production.
“The government should demonstrate a bold attempt to industrialise the country and take it out of the woods by embracing a major policy shift from just focusing on taxation.
“What our economy requires now are radical far-reaching policies like the abolition of the Value Added Tax on real estate sales, financial services and domestic airlines ticket sales and abolishing capital gains tax on sales of shares and import duty on spare parts.
“Reduction of VAT on small traders to 3 per cent, the abolition of import duty on machinery and raw materials, among many others, will directly stimulate production and create wealth for the nation and its citizenry.”
Why this matters: High unemployment rate indicates the economy is operating below full capacity which will lead to lower output and income.
According to Olawale, it is imperative that Nigeria sorts this issue of unemployment to enable it to reposition itself at the centre of economic activities in the West African sub-region due to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) signed recently.