IMF Blames FG’s Policies For High Unemployment, Poverty Rate

The International Monetary Fund has faulted Federal Government policies, saying it has contributed to the widening unemployment levels and worsened the level of poverty in the country.

The African Department of the IMF said this in a report on Monday.

The reaction comes with concerns of growing unemployment levels in the country currently at 27.1 per cent, according to official data.

The government had in 2019 said it would create 20 million jobs by 2023.

But the lender said with the growing risk of unemployment, the country needs at least five million jobs annually over the next ten years.

The IMF said, “The limited gains from inward-oriented policies in terms of creating jobs and improving living standards suggest that Nigeria needs to change course.

“To accommodate a growing number of young people entering the labor market, Nigeria will need to create at least five million new jobs each year over the next decade.”

The Washington based lender believes that adopting a multilateral approach to it’s policies would open up the economy for growth.

“Based on experience of other countries, embracing more open trade and competition policies would help diversify the economy and reinvigorate growth, particularly as the African Continental Free Trade Area takes effect,” the IMF said.

According to the IMF, the deteriorating standards of living in oil rich Nigeria calls for greater push for economic diversification.

The IMF also raised issues of the country’s revenue shortfall.

Itsaid the country has one of the lowest revenue levels as a share of Gross Domestic Product worldwide.

It noted that the most alarming is the fact that a large share of revenue is spent on the country’s public debt service payment.

Consequently, the IMF said the amount spent on debt service has left little resources for government to finance critical social and infrastructure spending.

The IMF also said the revenue allocation may threaten economic recovery.