Government Is Creating Enabling Environment To Tackle Unemployment – Presidency
The Presidency on Friday assured citizens that it was making efforts at tackling unemployment in the country, adding that it had created an enabling environment in support of those with the capacity to create jobs.
Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, an economist and Special Adviser to the President on Monitoring And Evaluation, Prof. Sylvester Monye, said that some government initiatives like YOUWIN were designed to create the enabling environment for job creation in the country.
“If you look at the budget that was passed yesterday, you would notice that works has the largest chunk, about 104 billion Naira in terms of budget provision because it is works, housing that create jobs. So government is actually targeting that as a major policy push,” he said.
He added that funds invested into the Mortgage Refinancing Company were part of the government’s efforts at tackling unemployment.
There had been discussions concerning the rebased exercise which placed the nation’s economy as 1st in Africa and 26th largest in the world. Making his contribution to this, Monye said “over the years, we have not been getting accurate information about the state of our economy. The GDP simply measures the size of our economy at current market value.”
He said that the nation had been guessing the actual size of the economy and the current market value for the past 24 years, and over the last 6 years, the nation’s economy had been growing at the average rate of over 6 percent, but the actual size was unknown until the Federal Government decided to rebase.
“The issue of rebasing is really to give us accurate data as to where we are today,” he said.
On why past administrations had failed to carry out the rebasing activity, Monye said “it’s a very tough thing to put statistics together and also, it depends on people’s priority, but the present administration felt that it was highly important that we know where we are.”
He revealed that the government was determined to eliminate controversies in the figures presented as was in the case of Ghana, and so set out on the exercise “as a model in transparency.” International agencies and Nigerian economists were involved “to show that this is an international credible exercise that is devoid of any manipulation.”
“The exercise is expensive and requires a strong statistical institution to drive it,” he said, noting that the nation can now boast of credible statistics given by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and would need not rely on international bodies such as the World Bank and the IMF.
Addressing issues concerning the current population figure which had been contested, Monye said that the government was ‘transparency oriented’ and that when President Jonathan “takes on the next census, Nigerians would know that this is exactly what we are.”
On arguments that the new GDP figures did not take the rate of unemployment into cognisance, he said that the exercise was to measure the size of the economy in terms of the country’s finished product and also give information on the structure of the economy.
He, however, noted that the NBS had provided a methodology that would enable government calculate job creation and unemployment accurately. Also, Government would be able to predict impact of policies made on the economy.
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