By Babajide Komolafe

Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has called on the Federal Government to design informal sector oriented economic policy that will help informal workers overcome the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Making this call in its Quarterly Economic Report  for  the Third Quarter of 2020 (Q1’2020), ABCON noted that while most COVID-19 related government aids and packages are targeted at formal businesses, it is the informal sector,  which accounts for majority of the labour force, that suffers the greatest impact of the pandemic.

“Nigeria has 41.5 million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), accounting for 17.4 million jobs. Most of these MSMEs operate in the informal sector.

“These informal workers suffer disproportionately when large-scale lockdowns are ordered, but at the same time, government aid packages are largely being targeted at formal businesses.

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“To ensure that these MSMEs continue to play their critical role in the economy especially employment generation, we recommend that economic policy trust for post COVID-19 must be designed to reach the informal sector that accounts for a larger percentage of the society, the association said.

Noting that the COVID-19 pandemic represents a wake-up call to the government on the need to support indigent members of the society, ABCON said: “A major lesson to be learned from COVID-19 is the practicability of social security policy in Nigeria. Government should be awakened to this prime realization of the need to support the indigent in the society not only during emergencies but under normal conditions.”

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