Former Chairman, Ogun chapter of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Wale Adegbite, has advised the federal government to formulate a policy framework aimed at checking population growth.
Mr. Adegbite said this was necessary to reduce the alarming rate of unemployment in the country.
He spoke against the backdrop of a report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that the nation’s unemployment rate rose from 27.1 percent to 33.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020, leaving 23.18 million Nigerians jobless.
Mr. Adegbite noted that the population was growing faster than jobs created.
“The country needs a better-educated workforce that could start their own business and those who could travel to countries like Canada where they need an educated workforce to reduce the nation’s rising unemployment rate,” he explained.
He also called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to adopt a more flexible forex regime to enable manufacturers to import their raw materials at reasonable prices and generate more employment.
“The inability of manufacturers to source forex to import raw materials has reduced capacity utilisation rate in the manufacturing sector, thus increasing the nation’s unemployment rate,” he added.
Mr. Adegbite identified COVID-19 as responsible for the increase in the unemployment rate in the fourth quarter of 2020, adding that many businesses downsized during the period.