.NECA steps up efforts at tackling unemployment, skills mismatch

By Victor Ahiuma, LAGOS

The Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, NECA, weekend, asked the Federal Government to reappraise its monetary and fiscal policies to address the multifaceted challenges confronting the nation.

According to NECA, misalignment between government monetary and fiscal policies is compounding the nation’s economic woes.

Director-General of NECA, Mr. Wale-Smatt Oyerinde, who made the call, stated that “rather than holding on to and promoting policies that have proven not to be effective within the context of current challenges, government will do well to reappraise the monetary and fiscal policies to gauge their effectiveness and long-term relevance.

“A deliberate and transparent process of evaluating economic policies should be put in place with the Organised Private Sector, who are critical stakeholders, at the center.”

While noting the various interventions by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, the director-general contended that the deployed initiatives had the capacity to stimulate and drive the economy towards the path of sustained growth if the impediments were removed.

He said: “These initiatives and policies comprise the exclusion and prohibition of about 47 items from eligibility to access foreign exchange, FX, on June 23, 2015, and the introduction of the e-Form ‘A” for Forex Online in July 2021.

“Unfortunately, many of these interventions have not yielded the desired outcomes of enriching the flow of FX, reflating the economy and promoting enterprise competitiveness.

“In view of the significant impact of the misalignment of the fiscal and monetary policies of government,  it is urgent and important for the nation’s monetary and fiscal authorities to close ranks to reduce the contradictory tendencies of their policies for the good of the nation.”

Oyerinde argued, with examples, that “while the monetary policies aim to reflate the economy through various interventions, the fiscal policies tend to stifle the productive sector by frequently introducing new taxes and levies.

‘’Examples include the recent telecommunication excise tax, excise duty on carbonated drinks, beverages’ tax and the NYSC levy.

“The introduction of these taxes and levies are an unfortunate addition to other anti-enterprise regulations. The multiplier effects of these will further hamper the purchasing power of the citizens, reduce capacity utilisation of enterprises and worsen the macroeconomic indices in the country.”

Going forward, Oyerinde recommended that “as a matter of urgency, there should be deliberate alignment of monetary and fiscal

‘’The process should involve the Organised Private Sector of Nigeria, OPSN, to enhance its credibility and effectiveness, while strict monitoring and enforcement should be ensured.”

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