Urban unemployment now 49.9% –Aganga
By MADUKA NWEKE
Monday, July 19, 2010
The Minister of Finance, Mr Olusegun Aganga, has pledged the Federal Government’s resolve to tackle unemployment in the country as he decried the 49.9 per cent unemployment rate in the urban centres across the country.
Aganga , who disclosed this Friday in Lagos while speaking with financial journalists, stated that on the top list of the economic management team is job creation.
Giving insight into what informed this position, he said:
“We want to have inclusive growth. Our part is to have double digit growth rate annually and we know that we can achieve that. In terms of the agenda for the economic management team, there are four broad areas.
The first is in the area of Capital. If we really need to grow the nation’s economy, we must provide opportunity for operators to have access to credit that is cheaper than what we have at present. We want to focus on job creation that is why the job creation committee was inaugurated.
And the reason for this is that we want to have inclusive growth.”
Quoting data from the National Bureau of Statistics, he said that the level of unemployment in the country is 19.7 per cent. “It is vital especially when you look at the age or the group that is affected. So if you look at the age group of between 15 and 24 age brackets in the urban areas, the level of unemployment is about 49.9 per cent according to the Bureau of Statistics. These are the areas, if fixed,will help facilitate real economic growth,” he added.
Speaking further on the economic growth, he said that “the real GDP grows by 7.2 per cent in the first quarter (Q1) of the year. Income yield stood at 4.5 per cent and 4.6 per cent in the same period in 2009 and 2008 respectively. The oil GDP grows by 3.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2010 as against 8.08 per cent in Q1 2009 and 6.55 per cent in Q1 2008. In the non-oil sector, GDP grows by 8.15 per cent in Q1 2010; fiscal year grows by 7.9 per cent and 8.13 per cent in Q1 2009 and 2008 respectively.
The minister also promised that the Federal Government would do everything possible to improve on the growth of the capital market, saying that part of efforts would be through margin guidelines to be released in August. He explained that the margin guidelines has been on the table for discussion between the Ministry of Finance , the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).