Job creation: Economist advocates enabling environment for MSMEs

An economist, Dr Muda Yusuf, has urged all-tiers of government to create an enabling environment for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to thrive and create jobs.

Yusuf, a former Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, gave the advice in an interview with newsmen on Tuesay in Lagos.

According to him, focusing on creating an enabling environment for the private sector, especially MSMEs, to thrive is the appropriate strategy for rapid employment generation.

He said job creation per unit of capital at this level was highest.

“The private sector is the power house of job creation in most economies around the world. Nigeria is not an exception.

“The entrepreneurs are the engine that drives private sector development. But the government needs to provide the enabling environment for this to happen,” he said.

Yusuf noted that in Nigeria, the private sector accounted for an estimated 90 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

He added that the private sector was also responsible for over 85 per cent of jobs in the economy.

Accordingto him, these numbers underscore the strategic significance of entrepreneurs and private sector in job creation.

Yusuf said also over 80 per cent of these jobs were created by the over 40 MSMEs in Nigeria, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

He said, therefore, the prospects for accelerated job creation laid in the MSMEs space, most of which were in the informal economy.

To leverage entrepreneurial potential for job creation, Yusuf advised that more focus should be on scaling productivity of private investors at all levels, especially MSMEs.

He advised that the security challenges the country was currently facing be fixed as well as high energy cost.

The former LCCI DG also urged government to fix the challenges of macroeconomic volatility, especially the exchange rate and liquidity issues.

He advised that the constraints of transportation and physical connectivity within the economy be addressed.

“Government should also address climate issues, especially as they impact on agricultural production, funding issues for MSMEs, promote adoption of technology to boost productivity across sectors.

“Facilitate linkages between large corporates and MSMEs, facilitate linkages between rural and urban economies, facilitate development of agriculture value chain and develop technical skills across sectors,” he said.

Trueverdict reports that Nigeria’s unemployment rate, according to the NBS, as at the end of 2020 climbed to 33.3 per cent from 27.1 per cent recorded in Q2 2020, indicating that about 23,187,389 (23.2 million) Nigerians were unemployed.

Under-employment rate in the reference period, however, dropped from 28.6 per cent recorded in Q2 2020 to 22.8 per cent in Q4 2020.

This figure is projected to increase further in 2022.

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