The Nigeria Employers Consultative Association on Wednesday expressed worry over the growing unemployment rate as released by the National Bureau of Statistics.
The Association in a statement titled ‘NECA expresses concern at the escalating unemployment rate: calls for urgent action’, the Director-General, Dr Timothy Olawale, stated that the recently released data by the NBS were both worrisome and expected.
He said the fundamental issues arising from COVID-19 and its negative effects on businesses had not been addressed sufficiently, despite initiatives put in place by the government.
Olawale said, “While the figure showed that the unemployment crisis is worsening at an alarming rate, it is also instructive to note that the socioeconomic factors that increased the figure to 27 per cent in the last NBS release remains.
“The recent economic recession has exacerbated the unemployment rate as major sectors of the economy have stagnated with negative growth, though the nation exited recession in February 2021.”
Expressing concern at the on-going challenges facing businesses, he said many businesses had yet to recover from the pandemic effects as insecurity had caused many in the Northern region to close shop.
He added that access to critical foreign exchange to import inputs was low while the regulatory environment remained largely unfriendly.
The NECA boss urged the government to refocus its efforts at supporting organised businesses to increase their production capacities, and to support micro, small and medium enterprises to enable growth from bottom up.
He added that a critical impact-audit of current interventions should be made to determine their effectiveness and relevance in the context of current realities.