Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige has blamed the rising unemployment rate in the country on the population explosion within the last few years.
This is just as he revealed that Nigerians are exaggerating the effect of cash scarcity in the country.
Ngige had met with the Governor Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele, and the Leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Joe Ajaero to tackle the persistent effect of cash scarcity which has rendered many jobless.
Barely 48 hours after the meeting, the minister disclosed that Nigerians are exaggerating the effect of cash scarcity in the country.
Ngige said the effects of the cash scarcity were mild while revealing that only those in the rural area and those who do not believe in the banking system were mildly affected.
THE WHISTLER had earlier reported that many Nigerians queued at various banks across the country over the scarcity of new notes, while some spent the night at various ATM booths.
However, Ngige said, “The cash scarcity, what you ruled out, is not as bad as it is been said, yes people in rural areas, people who don’t believe in the banking system, were affected.
“ I am not saying there’s no suffering in the land with it (naira redesign policy) there is some pain, I’m a physician, I give you chloroquine you take, although it is bitter, you take it to get well” Ngige said.
The Minister also said the CBN policy came on short notice, and although he felt the effect of the policy, the citizens are not projecting the true outcome.
Ngige also revealed that the unemployment rate which rose from 8.9 per cent in 2015 to over 30 per cent in 2022 was a result of an increase in the population in the country.
Nigeria’s population stood at 184 million in 2015, with an increase of over 30 million in 7 years, the population is seen at over 218 million.
He further blamed the petroleum industry for pushing the unemployment rate higher, by the drop in the production of petroleum barrels per day over time.
Ngige also said that Nigerians should appreciate the effort made by the current administration, in tackling inflation, and security and alleviating millions of people from poverty.
Recall that The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in November said that 133 million Nigerians are multidimensionally poor. This data shows that six out of ten persons lack access to health and education and suffer poor living standards, alongside unemployment and other economic shocks.