Participants at the 2022 annual public lecture of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN) have stated that strong foreign reserves will increase national productivity and create a favourable climate for initiatives to create jobs to flourish.
Festus Keyamo, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, who presided over the lecture, lamented Nigeria’s high unemployment rate and claimed it could not be justified by advancements in the world economy.
According to him, the COVID-19 outbreak and the subsequent economic collapse are insufficient justifications for the high unemployment rate in the nation. Nigeria is a wealthy country, thus it should be able to use its natural resources to give its citizens jobs.
He continued by saying that the skills sector has become the most realistic choice for job development as a result of the loss of white-collar positions.
Therefore, the government’s goal is to study the skills sector seriously in order to open up the Nigerian labor market. It is no longer relevant to the state of the world to wait for the government to create work for every citizen. Governments are increasingly creating the conditions necessary for efforts promoting self-employment to succeed. The highest earners in Europe and America are those with talents.
To stimulate the economy and create jobs, Keyamo acknowledged the value of a steady electricity supply, noting that “we need a constant power supply to unlock macro, small, and medium scale industries.” Nigeria’s economy cannot support entrepreneurship without reliable power. I believe the minister of power should talk someday about the initiatives the ministry is implementing to provide Nigerians with access to power.
The gathering, according to Taiwo Owokalade, president of ICSAN, was intended to act as a forum for bringing key stakeholders together to generate ideas for increasing Nigeria’s sources of income that will increase its foreign exchange reserves.
“Our choice of the topic is to enable us to create a greater platform for the cross-fertilization of ideas and deepening of the narratives,” Owokalade stated in reference to the conference’s theme, “External Reserves Dynamics and Governance Challenges in Nigeria. The importance of the country’s foreign reserve cannot be overstated given the nation’s expanding economy and sizable population.
“In a sense, it is essential to both our survival and the economics of the country. Additionally, the process of nation-building is inextricably linked to a very strong external reserve. Therefore, in order to give our fair share to nation-building, our institute wants to further this conversation.
According to Mrs. Toyin Sanni, Chief Executive Officer of Emerging Africa Capital Group, Nigeria must restructure its economy in order to capitalize on prospects in the solid mineral or agricultural sectors.
She said: “Our greatest strength is the tenacity of our people, therefore we must retool and refocus the masses to become productive in the greater economic sphere. Nigeria must boost social investment in order to boost labor productivity.
Prof. Bongo Adi, a professor of development economics and data analytics, who gave the lecture, claimed that the system’s primary weakness over time has been the lack of adequate foreign reserves, which weakens the Naira exchange rate and renders assets denominated in Naira poor stores of wealth or value and leaves the system uninsured against external financial shocks.
Until Nigeria builds up precautionary foreign reserves holding to levels that will strengthen the Naira enough to protect the store of the value attribute of the currency, he insisted, financing buckets such as money, bonds, or equity should be expected to deepen because real assets such as commodities or real estate or assets denominated in foreign currency would be better stores of wealth than any financial asset denominated in another currency.