Buhari Blames Nigeria’s Economic Woes On Growing Youth Population

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President Muhammadu Buhari has said that Nigeria’s growing youth population was heightening the country’s current economic quagmire.

Buhari made the assertion in his 62nd Independence Anniversary Speech, his very last address on an Independence Day as Nigeria’s President.

His words, “We are confronting current economic challenges such as debt burden, growing inflation, living standards and increasing unemployment accentuated by our growing youthful population.”

Latest reports show that Nigeria’s debt stock has risen to N42.84 trillion amid revenue shortfall; inflation has accelerated more than expected to 20.52 per cent, highest in two decades; unemployment rate above 33 per cent.

Standard of living is nothing to write home about as the average household size in the country is 5.06 persons per family and higher in rural.

In fact, youth’s unemployment rate is estimated to be 53.40 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2020 from 40.80 per cent in Q2 2020.

These problems, Buhari attributed to have been globally induced.

He said, however, that his administration would continue to ensure that their negative effects are addressed in our policies.

“This administration will continue to ensure that our fiscal policies are supported by a robust and contemporary monetary policy that recognises our peculiarities in the midst of the growing global economic difficulties,” Buhari said.

According to him, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has done the needful in managing the interest rate, now at 15.5 per cent, amid other parameters.

He said, “It is projected that this would further insulate our economy from over exposure to uncertainties at the international market by restraining growth in core inflation.”

He claimed the government intervention through the National Social Investment Programme is yielding the benefits, to address the problems of infrastructure deficit, unemployment, poverty reduction among others.

“There is hardly any ward, village or local government in Nigeria today that has not benefited from one of the following: N-Power, trader-moni, market moni, subsidized loans, business grants or Conditional Cash Transfers,” he said.

Buhari still believes he could deliver on his promise to improve the economy, tackle corruption and fight insecurity as expressed in his speech less than eight months to his exit from office.

“Our efforts in re-setting the economy manifested in Nigeria exiting two economic recessions by the very practical and realistic monetary and fiscal measures to ensure effective public financial management.

“In addition, the effective implementation of the Treasury Single Account and cutting down on the cost of governance also facilitated early exits from recessions,” he added.

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