The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has lamented the growing rate of unemployment in the country which rose to 20.9 million in the third quarter of 2018.
According to the Chamber, the development was a reflection that growth in the economy was still weak, fragile and not inclusive.
It, therefore, urged the federal government to sustain efforts to create the enabling environment to attract more private capital to boost investment and growth.
Addressing journalists, the President, Babatunde Paul Ruwase, also urged government at all levels to address its revenue challenges in order to improve budget performance and complete ongoing and abandoned infrastructural projects.
The Chamber noted that the latest unemployment report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that the number of unemployed Nigerians had risen from 17.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, to 20.9 million as of the third quarter of 2018.
“This represents a rise from 18.8 per cent in fourth quarter of 2017 to 23.1 per cent in Q3 of 2018. The growing unemployment figure is a reflection that growth in the economy is still weak, fragile and not inclusive.
“It is imperative therefore to sustain efforts to create the enabling environments to attract more private capital to boost investment.”
Commenting on Nigeria’s revenue, the LCCI boss explained: “We are dealing with a situation where government revenue can barely fund the recurrent expenditure and debt service commitments thereby putting the delivery of capital projects at risk. This has been a challenge for all levels of government.”
However, in order to ensure improved independent revenue performance in 2019, he advised that revenue generating agencies of the government should do better than their current level of performance and remittance of surplus to the federation account.
He pointed out that the creation of better investment environment would also attract more private capital and investment which would invariably impact positively on government revenue and employment generation.
The LCCI urged the federal government to expedite action to complete infrastructure projects nationwide such as the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, Lagos-Ibadan rail project, power projects, the Second Niger Bridge, East-West road among others.