(Last Updated On: April 6, 2017)

. As Experts laud plan

. NLC seeks creation of more opportunities


By Michael Igiri James

Report has it that no fewer than 1.5million new jobs would have been created in Nigeria by

the year 2020.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) made this revelation in a recently released report

titled: “Nigerian Economy and Policy Environment.”

In a swift reaction to the report, the Organised Private Sector (OPS) has lauded the report,

describing it as achievable if the federal government fully partners with the OPS through the

creation of an enabling environment for businesses to growth Nigeria.

It was recently reported that about 3.67 million Nigerians became jobless within a year.

Statistics showed that the number of unemployed Nigerians rose from 7.51million at the

beginning of October 2015 to 11.19million at the end of September 2016.

The OPS led by Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA) however argued that

monetary policy rate put at 14% in spite of the economic recession would not stimulate

economic activities.

According to them, to achieve the target by 2020, there is a need to create a business

friendly Interest Rate regime, saying, “One consequence of the monetary authority’s fixation

on maintaining an artificial fixed exchange rate has been the high interest rate regime.

“The CBN has maintained monetary policy rate at 14% in spite of the economic recession,

which would have suggested a different policy response-lowering interest rates to stimulate

economic activities.”

On minimum wage issue, the OPS maintained that given the depreciation in the value of the

Naira as well as inflation currently put at 18.6%, there is need to increase the minimum

wage. The group also suggested that sustainable funding strategy for the Nigerian economy

should focus on attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) rather than concentrating on

external borrowings.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Idowu Adelakun

has predicted that creating 1.5million jobs with the rate of unemployment increase in the

country would amount to little in the grand scheme of things.

“If in four years’ time 1.5million jobs are created, what about the people who have lost jobs

cumulatively in the years preceding this? My guess is that considering the rate of fresh

graduates that will have joined the labour force by 2020, it is obvious the jobs created

would only do little to make things better. As a union we do not see it good enough, and are

therefore clamouring for more job creation.

“We believe it’s achievable for the government to create the jobs and even more if only the

federal government can allow the local constituency to have autonomy, and enabling

powers necessary to create jobs through the local government,” He said.