Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Economic Prosperity Are Built On Sound Economic Policies

In this conversation with Mr. Chimere Iheonu, a Senior Associate and Economist, Kwakol Market, we examine the crucial role that economic policies and initiatives play in resolving unemployment and underemployment in Nigeria. In addition to outlining recommendations for maximizing job opportunities through infrastructure development, bettering skill development and education-to-employment alignment, supporting SMEs and startups, luring foreign investment, maximizing the potential for job creation in the agricultural sector, and empowering Nigerian youth through entrepreneurship initiatives, our expert also discusses the difficulties associated with creating jobs. Discover the in-depth knowledge our expert has provided on Nigeria’s route to promoting economic growth and creating more employment possibilities.

 

How do you assess the current state of job creation in Nigeria, and what role do you believe economic policies play in addressing unemployment and underemployment rates?

The government, both at the state and federal levels, has not been able to effectively tailor any government policy that improves job creation. Usually, governments rely on both monetary and fiscal policy to prop up economic activity, which has an underlying influence on enhancing job creation. However, the dynamics of the Nigerian economy have limited the effectiveness of monetary and fiscal policies.

The CBN, in its pursuit of a reduction in inflation, has consistently increased the monetary policy rate, and as we know, there is a trade-off between reducing inflation and enhancing employment opportunities with the use of the MPR. In terms of the fiscal side, it has all been about increasing taxes and government revenue, which also dampens the ability to create jobs.

Nonetheless, there have also been an increased number of infrastructural projects, which, in their own right, can stimulate economic activities and drive employment; however, this is just one of many things that need to be done in order to stimulate the economy. There are issues about naira depreciation, conflict, the high cost of doing business, etc., all of which dampen confidence in investment activities.

Economic policy play a very crucial role in unemployment and underemployment largely through several channels such as monetary and fiscal policy as already discussed, labour market regulations, skill development, infrastructure development and targeted job creation programs.

 

Infrastructure projects are often touted as job creators. Could you elaborate on the specific economic policies or strategies you recommend to maximize job creation through infrastructure development in Nigeria?

Yes, good infrastructure can effectively stimulate economic activity, which drives down unemployment. Strategies that can be used to maximise effectiveness include project prioritisation. This means prioritising infrastructure projects that have the potential to generate significant employment within the local economy. This does not only create employment opportunities during the project but also boosts the local economy, which further drives employment after the project has been executed. Specifically, infrastructural projects should be tailored to thriving local economies.

 

In light of the changing job landscape, what economic policies do you think are crucial for enhancing skills development and bridging the gap between education and employment in Nigeria?

There are crucial policies that can be tailored to improve skill development and bridge the education and employment gap. However, these policies are more tailored towards education policies than economic policies. The first is ensuring that the education curriculum aligns with skill demand in the job market. Secondly, the government must scale up technical and vocational education and training in order to provide more practical, job-specific skills. Also, there must be an improvement in the collaboration between the industry and the academia, establishing partnerships that facilitates joint research projects and internships.

 

SMEs are known to be significant contributors to job creation. What economic policies can support the growth of SMEs and startups, particularly in the face of economic challenges?

Additionally, infrastructural development across SMEs clusters is essential to boost activities within the clusters, which can prop up productivity.

 

Attracting foreign direct investment is often seen as a means to boost job creation. What economic policies and strategies do you recommend to make Nigeria more attractive to foreign investors?

Macroeconomic stability is key to attracting foreign investment into Nigeria. Fiscal discipline, inflation control, improving the ease of doing business, and incentivizing investors are all essential to attracting foreign investors. The government would also have to improve infrastructure development in transportation, energy and digital infrastructure to attract foreign investment. There are also need for the Nigerian government to strengthen legal frameworks and regulations to protect the right of investors as well as improving security.

 

Agriculture has the potential to create a substantial number of jobs in Nigeria. How can economic policies promote agricultural growth and increase employment opportunities, especially in rural areas?

Agriculture has the potential to create a substantial number of jobs in Nigeria. How can economic policies promote agricultural growth and increase employment opportunities, especially in rural areas. Most agricultural communities have often complained of poor infrastructure within agricultural clusters and farms. The government must invest in agricultural infrastructure that not only includes roads and transport, but also irrigation systems and storage facilities. This boost the production capacity in the agricultural sector that requires additional work force. There is also a need for the government to invest in value chain development in the agricultural sector that can create jobs across the entire spectrum, from farming and agro-processing to transportation and retail. This is especially crucial in rural areas where employment opportunities are limited.

 

Youth unemployment is a pressing issue. What innovative economic policies or programs can be implemented to encourage entrepreneurship among young Nigerians and generate more job opportunities for them?

Youth unemployment is a pressing issue. What innovative economic policies or programs can be implemented to encourage entrepreneurship among young Nigerians and generate more job opportunities for them?   The government can establish youth entrepreneurship development centers that offer training, mentorship and incubation services. The government must also support the creation of startup incubators and accelerators that provide funding, workspace and mentorship to young entrepreneurs. Additionally, the government should also create youth-focused venture capital funds and microfinance institutions to provide affordable loans and equity financing for youth start-up. Also, entrepreneurial education and digital skills training and establishing innovation hubs where young entrepreneurs can collaborate, develop innovative solutions and collectively access resources are essential.

Latest Posts

spot_imgspot_img