THE Nigerian Economic Summit Group, NESG, has urged the Federal Government to expedite actions at re-opening our closed borders given its negative impact on trade and employment.
In a statement released on Tuesday entitled “Matters of Urgent Attention“, the NESG noted that the nation’s work in ECOWAS should not be limited to security and diplomacy, “but must also effectively harness trade opportunities within the sub-region. We also call on the government to ratify the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, AfCFTA, so that we can move to full membership status and take our rightful place in subsequent negotiation rounds”.
“We remain of the firm belief that with the necessary infrastructure, the Nigerian economy and the Nigerian people, with our innovative capacity, hard work and creativity, will be one of the greatest beneficiaries of African and West African free trade. This will also enable fair competition, competent institutions, efficiency and transparency in our processes,” it said.
It noted with grave concern the rising level of poverty, unemployment and underemployment in our country which is predominant among our young people and has been exacerbated by the impact of COVID-19 and the slump in commodity prices and urged that while efforts at creating short-term jobs across the country is commendable, a lot more effort must be channeled towards re-skilling, retooling and reviewing our school curriculum.
“A focused approach to vocational studies must also be undertaken, and all our 13.2 million children (Pre COVID-19) out of school must be brought into the school system,” it noted.
On the issue of borrowing, the NESG noted that the nation’s resort to borrowing (either domestic or international), and quantitative easing by the monetary authorities to fund the large deficit which has now been made worse by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the NESD, since these specific actions are not sustainable in the medium to long term, the Group urges the government to urgently consider a strong communications strategy that engages the people and prepares them for tougher times ahead whilst the current reforms take effect as “the current business as usual disposition is not sustainable”
– Sept. 8, 2020 @13:45 GMT |