The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has said the unemployment rate in the country may rise from the current 23.1 percent to 33.5 percent by 2020.
NECA President, Timothy Olawale who lamented on the rate many companies are shutting down coupled with the increasing population of Nigeria, called on the Federal Government to ensure that the fiscal and monetary institutions churn out policies that focus on, not only sustainable enterprise development but also on job creation.
Olawale appealed to the Nigerian Government to reassess its strategies and tailor its policies and reforms towards upscaling industrialisation in the country.
He stressed that the coordination and management of fiscal policies should be geared towards enterprise competitiveness, job creation and alleviating poverty as against impoverishing the people by such government policies.
Olawale said this became necessary and urgent in view of the fact that Nigeria recently signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, (ACFTA) and there was a need to make Nigeria the hub of economic activities in the West African sub-region.
He further noted that the country must benefit maximally from the AfCFTA, urging the government to stimulate production rather than increase taxes.
“There is no better time for the government to focus on a radical industrialisation of the country to make it the hub of economic activities in the West African sub-region and also ensure Nigeria benefits maximally from the AfCFTA, than now.
“We have consistently taken the lazy path of tax increases that stifle and further burden businesses rather than the ingenious way of promoting and stimulating production.
“The government should demonstrate a bold attempt to industrialise the country and take it out of the woods by embracing a major policy shift from just focusing on taxation.
“What our economy requires now are radical far-reaching policies like the abolition of the Value Added Tax on real estate sales, financial services and domestic airlines ticket sales and abolishing capital gains tax on sales of shares and import duty on spare parts.
“Reduction of VAT on small traders to three per cent, abolition of import duty on machinery and raw materials, among many others, will directly stimulate production and create wealth for the nation and its citizenry,” he said.