• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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BusinessDay

Implications of Nigeria’s worsening macroeconomic problems and possible solution (II)

Nigeria as we see it – Citizens

Amidst these problems is the issue of insecurity. Children, youth, adults, men, or women are susceptible to insecurity problems. There is a high level of armed robbery, kidnapping, and demand for ransom, among others.

Another factor contributing to the country’s economic woes is the high level of corruption and greed among some citizens. Corruption has infiltrated the fabric of the country.

All these macroeconomic problems in the country have aggravated economic hardship among the citizens and pushed many below the poverty line.

Although ending poverty has been the heartbeat of most governments, several policies have been implemented to eradicate poverty. For instance, several administrations have come up with measures to combat poverty in Nigeria, including ‘Operation Feed the Nation in 1976, Green Revolution in 1980, Better Life for Rural Women in 1987, and Family Economic Advancement Programme in 1997.’ Poverty Alleviation Programme in 2000, National Poverty Eradication Programme in 2001, Youth Empowerment Scheme, Rural Infrastructure Development Scheme, Social Welfare Services Scheme, National Resources Development and Conservation Scheme, among others.

However, the implementation of these policies and programmes has not been favourable to Nigerians to account for pushing the millions out of poverty; instead, it has contributed to the country’s poverty situation due to corruption and improper implementation techniques.

To tackle the macroeconomic problems that ravage the economy, the government must consider adopting these possible solutions.

According to Keynes, to reduce poverty, unemployment must reduce to the natural rate, and aggregate demand must increase to minimise unemployment. An increase in aggregate demand results in increased consumption of newly generated goods and services. An increase in demand for such freshly manufactured goods and services would motivate manufacturers to expand output, resulting in a greater need for labour services. An increase in labour demand would result in an increase in employment and a decrease in unemployment. As a result, a rise in aggregate demand tends to lower unemployment.

Read also: How 5G network will reduce unemployment, boost metaverse adoption in Nigeria

Also, there should be diversification of the economy and restoration of the agricultural sector as the primary source of income, as it once was. Efforts should be geared towards producing agricultural items such as rice, palm oil, groundnuts, and cocoa. In addition, there should be adequate provision of loans for farmers and the adoption of a mechanised form of farming which will encourage more youth to participate in farming activities.

This will help the government provide job opportunities for the massive unemployed youth in the country. It will reduce the country’s unemployment rate, poverty rate, and crime rate.

Small and medium-scale enterprises should be encouraged by providing an enabling environment. This will stimulate and improve production in these enterprises. There should be technological advancement in all sectors to boost the output.

Furthermore, there should be more investment in human capital. The government should address the current situation of the education and health sectors in shambles. The lack of adequate facilities in our schools and strike actions make parents seek alternative means of getting a quality education for their wards.

In addition, the government should provide adequate facilities in the health sector. Since most health expenditures are borne by individuals seeking health care services, the more income people spend on health, the higher the probability of falling into poverty. Health insurance should be made available, especially for low and middle-class citizens, to achieve health equity and equality.

There should also be good infrastructure in the country, both urban and rural areas. There should be adequate electricity, water, and a good road network.

Nigeria should also lift its ban on the import of some essential goods. Importing goods that cannot efficiently be produced within the country is not necessarily bad. Nigeria must concentrate on producing commodities in which it has a distinct competitive advantage over other countries, which will help to boost our export base.

The Federal Government could also update some of our important legislation to encourage direct foreign investment by making it easier to do business in Nigeria. Addressing the issue of insecurity is also very important to encourage prospective investors.

Also, Nigerians must look beyond ethnicity for the country to grow. At all times, we should strive for unity and peace. This is because in a peaceful environment, economic prosperity triumphs more.

In addition, the government must maintain the fight against corruption at all levels to prevent all leakages. The country must establish a zero-tolerance policy, improve the rule of law, and ensure that corruption is not tolerated.

Nigeria’s numerous anti-corruption agencies should enact strict anti-corruption legislation. The agencies should regard themselves as separate entities from the executives and refrain from being used as vendetta tools.

Also, government officials and employees who have a strong sense of honesty and a personal moral commitment to fighting corruption should be rewarded from time to time.

In conclusion, appropriate policies must be put in place and enforced to solve the macroeconomic problems. Also, citizens must be conscious that solving the macroeconomic issues is not only the government’s responsibility, but it is a joint responsibility. We must prevent wastages and leakages at this critical period, so all hands must be on the deck to move the country forward.

Busayo Aderounmu is an economist and researcher.