Nigeria Needs Pragmatic Economic Policies to Address A Troubling Misery Index

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Monday, March 22, 2021 / 10:00AM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong for WebTV / Header Image Credit: WebTV


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Nigeria must take bold steps through pragmatic economic policies to address its troubling misery index. Dr. Biodun Adedipe a seasoned economist and Chief Consultant, BAA Consult stressed this in a recent conversation on "Policy Steps to Tackle Nigeria's Rising Unemployment Rate".

 

He observed that in the past eight (8) years Nigeria's misery index has risen astronomically, depicting the challenging economic situation of high unemployment (33.1%), high inflation (17.33%), and slow GDP growth (0.11%).

 

Adedipe admitted that Africa's largest economy with a population of over 200m people, required robust policies that could drive inclusive economic growth.

 

According to him the management of the country's unemployment level was critical, to address issues like youth restiveness and agitations.

 

He noted in retrospect that Nigeria in the 1980s,  had a thriving manufacturing and agricultural sector that provided jobs. He observed that in the 2000s, the advent of digital technology was an opportunity to drive faster economic growth.

 

With the impressive performance of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Sector contributing majorly to the nation's GDP growth in double-digits,  he made a strong case for investment in digital skills that will make Nigeria globally competitive.

 

Apart from ICT, Manufacturing, and Agric Dr. Adedipe also identified Real Estate as a sector of systemic importance to the economy. This he noted stemmed from the value chain and economic activities from construction, building, and housing projects.

 

Speaking further he stated that growth in the real estate sector will positively affect the economy and create more jobs.

 

One of the areas he underscored was the ability for the governments at the Federal and State levels to incentivize investments into "Affordable Housing", which would have multiplier effects on the economy.

 

The economist acknowledged that Nigeria had a large service sector, but lacks a strong manufacturing base to rest on like the United Kingdom and the United States.  

 

"As a country we need policies that provide the incentives for attracting private capital into the economy, to boost industrialization and support key sectors of the economy," he said

 

For the 278th Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) which commences today, Adedipe said the MPC faces a dilemma of rising inflation (17.33%), slow growth (0.11%), and devaluation of the currency (N481/$).

 

The expert projected that the MPC would likely review the interest rate upwards in response to the rising inflation rate and adjust other parameters.

 

Considering the dire state of the economy, he called on the administration to communicate effectively with the citizens on its economic plans and strategies.

 

He said it was time to discard every form of propaganda and engage citizens transparently with a sense of responsibility and accountability.


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