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Digital Economy: How reforms in education, manufacturing, trade can create job opportunities ─NESG

*The Nigerian Economic Summit Group says there is urgent need for reforms in critical sectors of the country’s economy to promote productivity, competitiveness, and value creation for the citizenry

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

In order to promote inclusive growth and promote job creation, the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) has urged sectoral reforms in critical and strategic sectors of the Nigerian economy.

ConsumerConnect reports such critical sectors include manufacturing, services sector, trade, education, health, Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

Mr. Laoye Jaiyeola, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NESG, stated this Tuesday, March 8, 2022, at the Research Project in In-country Dissemination Workshop with the theme: Sectoral Development: “Assessing the Conditions that Drive Youth Employment in Key Sectors of the Nigerian Economy”, in Abuja, FCT.

The NESG had organised the workshop in collaboration with the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC).

Speaking on the occasion, Jaiyeola, represented by Dr. Olusegun Omisakin, Chief Economist and Head of Research at NESG, said for Nigeria to address nagging issue of youth unemployment, there was urgent need for

critical reforms that promote productivity, competitiveness and value creation in these sectors.

He noted these sectors of the economy promote job creation, champion industrialisation, encourage value-added economy, strength intersectoral value chain, promote inclusive growth and development as well as become critical in readiness for the adoption of the Nigeria Digital Economy.

Objective of the workshop

In connection with essence of the workshop, the Chief Executive of NESG, explained it was aimed at disseminating key research findings on drivers of youth employment in critical sectors of the Nigerian economy.

He also noted the programme was planned to provide a platform to deliberate, explore, and share perspectives on relevant policy interventions and approaches towards improving the state of youth employment in Nigeria

While referencing the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Jaiyeola said, 63 percent of Nigerians aged between 15 and 34 years approximately half of the Nigerian labour force, are either unemployed or working below their education, skills, and capability level as of 2020.

This ugly phenomenon has resulted in various social vices plaguing the West African country.

The CEO of NESG also said: “The youth unemployment situation is adjudged to have resulted in the high incidence of young people’s involvement in social vices, such as militancy, kidnapping, political thuggery, armed robbery, prostitution and other forms of unproductive activities.”

Hope is not lost, however, as Jaiyeola pledged the irrevocable commitment of NESG to championing advocacy for job creation and inclusive growth with a special focus on youth productivity in the economy.

He added: “The NESG is a private sector-led think tank with the mandate to champion the reform of the Nigerian economy into a globally competitive, sustainable and inclusive economy.

“Among other research and policy interventions, NESG has been involved in championing bottom-up advocacy on job creation and inclusive growth with a special focus on youth productivity.”

Dr. Dianah Muchai, Programme Officer in African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), also speaking at the event said over 54 million African youths are not employed currently.

Muchai as well stated that one in three young people employed in Africa are often engaged in poor quality jobs, which often make them vulnerable.

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