By Odunewu Segun
The unemployment crisis in the country is said to be a symptom of the myriad of problems facing the country and not the problem.
Dr. Femi Saibu of the department of economics, University of Lagos disclosed this at the 2016 Worldstage Economic Summit with the theme: Addressing Unemployment crisis in Nigeria.
The scholar who was the guest speaker called on the Federal Government to create the enabling environment for investors to flourish by providing basic infrastructures like electricity, and good legislation.
He said youth unemployment in recent times has risen to as high as 50% of the labour force while poverty level has risen to as high as 66 per cent, and economic discomfort index has also risen from below 30 per cent in 2010 to above 57 per cent in 2016.
“In addressing the unemployment crisis, policy makers must know how long individual workers have been without work and also what types of unemployment exist in the country.”
He said Government must address the supply gap, educational deficiency, increase economic capacity and also address labour unfriendly innovation and technology adoption.
He said the adoption of some innovation and technology would only deepened the crisis of unemployment as many will lost their jobs. He said government should encourage innovations and technology that lead to higher productivities and not those that take jobs from men to machines.
“Government should encourage large scale industrial set up that could mop up the thousands of unemployed youths, and also spends in key sectors to provide basic infrastructure that reduce cost of business.”
Also, President and CEO of WorldStage Economic Group Mr. Segun Adeleye emphasised the need for all Nigerians to work together with the government in tackling the unemployment crisis in Nigeria.
According to him, the Summit is coming at an apt time, given the decline in the nation’s Gross Domestic for two consecutive quarters to place the Nigerian economy in a recessive mode.
In his own contribution, Executive Director-Research and Advocacy of the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors, ANED, said no Country can boost Productivity without constant Electricity Supply.
According to him small scale or cottage industries cannot thrive without stable electricity, adding that electricity supply from the National grid is five times cheaper than self-generated power from generators.
He called on the Federal Government to do more in helping to tackle insecurity in the Niger Delta in other to ensure the free flow of gas to power stations.