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Nigeria at 59: Youths Speak on the State of the Nation

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  • Nigeria at 59: Youths Speak on the State of the Nation

Africa’s largest economy and the world’s most populous black nation, Nigeria, marks 59th independence anniversary amid growing insecurity and 55.4 percent youths unemployment/underemployment rate.

Despite the nation’s resources, over 23 percent or 20.9 million active job seekers are unemployed, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Recent research by the World Bank revealed that the few individuals that are gainfully employed are merely working because they cannot afford to be idle.

Judith Agbunno, a 24 years old medical doctor, who spoke with our correspondents, said despite the high unemployment rate in Nigeria, the health sector is grossly understaffed.

Prof. Muheez Durosinmi, the Vice Chancelor of Eko University of Medicine and Health Sciences, revealed that the nation’s health sector operates on one medical doctor to 6,000 patients presently, an increase of 900 percent above the one doctor per 600 patients recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“The excessive pressure and stress reduces doctors’ productivity and impacts other areas of their lives, given the sensitivity of their job,” Dr. Agbunno stated.

Oluyomi Esan, a Psychiatrist, explained that mental disorder and suicide rate are high among medical practitioners because of their high-stress level and long working hours.

In 2018, Dr. Durosinmi noted that only 35,000 out of 73,000 registered medical doctors were practicing in the country as the rest had abandoned Nigeria for advanced nations with better infrastructure and working conditions.

At 59, Nigeria still spends $1 billion on medical tourism per annum, the highest among African nations. This is despite the Central Bank of Nigeria’s efforts at stimulating local production in order to ease pressure on foreign reserves and support job creation, yet 30,000 Nigerians are allowed to spend an estimated $1 billion yearly on medical tourism at the expense of both local health sector and the nation’s foreign reserves without tangible efforts at curbing it.

“Nigeria is one nation with lots of untapped potentials that could place the nation at the global forefront. However, the years so far have shaped the nation into a shadow of its true self”, stated Ms. Bethel Ikoro.

“Despite been blessed with brilliant human resources, Nigeria is being governed by unsatisfactory leadership – leaders who can neither lead effectively nor represent admirably.”

Obinna Okpala, a Civil Servant and an engineer, said corruption and lack of morals have eaten down to our marrows as people. He said it is a shame that at 59 Nigeria still does not have constant power supply despite spending over $16 billion since 1999.

“If we can achieve constant electricity supply, prices of goods and services would drop as the cost of diesel and generator maintenance would be eliminated from operational costs,” Mr. Okpala stated.

Femi Adeyeye, a social commentator, said Nigeria is a failed state at 59. He highlighted the surged in the number of Nigerians abandoning their homes due to insecurity, economic policy that has failed to work for everyday people and a helpless judicial system that only works when it favours the ruling class as signs of a failed state.

Ishioma, who was one of the people we interviewed last year, said there is no respect for the rule of law as the whole nation witnessed last week when a federal agency, Department of State Security, blatantly disregarded court order and presently dragging Justice Taiwo Taiwo before the National Judicial Council for granting Omoyele Sowore, the convener of RevolutionNow protest, bail.

She explained that nothing has changed a year after she made her comments on bribery on this platform. The business environment remains hostile with Special Anti-Robbery Squad harassing and killing youths on a daily basis.

“At 59 we still have so much to work on, Nigeria’s growth and development isn’t just a government issue,” said Temitayo Sikiru, a data analyst.

“Our family is messed up, the community is messed up, the society is messed up and we crowned it with a messed up government.

“Until we take up our individual responsibilities to this great nation, we will continue to function below our collective capacity”, she added.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Economy

CBN Predicts 2 Percent Growth for Nigeria in 2021

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Despite the economic recession and numerous uncertainties encompassing Nigeria in recent months, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said the nation will grow by 2 percent in 2021.

Speaking at the 2020 bankers’ dinner organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Godwin Emefiele, the Governor, CBN, said implemented government intervention programmes will aid the nation’s recovery by next year.

Emefiele further stated that the intervention efforts represent around 3.5 percent of Nigeria’s current Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

He said, “Our actions in 2021 would be guided by the considerations that emerged from the Monetary Policy Committee meeting of November 23 & 24, 2020, which sought to address the major headwinds exerting downward pressure on output growth and upward pressure on domestic prices.”

On fast declining foreign reserves, the Governor said the institution has adopted a demand management framework designed to boost the production of items that can be produced locally and aid conservation of external reserves.

Due to the unprecedented nature of the shock, we continued to favour a gradual liberalisation of the foreign exchange market in order to smoothen exchange rate volatility and mitigate the impact which rapid changes in the exchange rate could have on key macro-economic variables,” Emefiele stated.

The CBN projection came few weeks after the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)’s report showed Africa’s largest economy contracted by 3.62 percent in the third quarter following a 6.10 percent decline posted in the second quarter. Nigeria officially slid into the worse economic recession in almost 30 years and the second economic recession under the current administration.

While, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, has projected that Nigeria would rebound from the recession in this final quarter or the very first quarter of 2021, falling revenue generation, rising capital flight amid weak demand due to the negative impact of coronavirus on earnings, household incomes and lack of jobs remain a concern.

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Economy

COVID-19 Vaccine: Crude Oil Extends Gain to $48 Per Barrel on Wednesday

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Oil prices rose further on Wednesday as hope for an effective COVID-19 vaccine and the news that the United States of America’s President-elect, Joe Biden has begun transition to the White House bolstered crude oil demand.

Brent crude oil, a Nigerian type of oil, gained 1.63 percent or 78 cents to $48.64 per barrel at 11:50 am Nigerian time on Wednesday.

The United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil rose by 1.36 percent or 61 cents to $45.52 per barrel.

OPEC Basket surged the most in terms of gain, adding 3.16 percent or $1.37 to $44.75 per barrel.

This was after AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech announced the positive results of their trials.

Moderna and Pfizer had claimed over 90 percent effective rate in trials while AstraZeneca said its COVID-19 vaccine was 70 percent effective in trials but could hit 90 percent going forward.

The possibility of having a vaccine next year increases the odds that we’re going to see demand return in the new year,” said Phil Flynn, senior analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

Also, the decision of President-elect Joe Biden to bring Janet Yellen, the former Chair of Federal Reserve, back as a Treasury Secretary of the United States is fueling demand and strong confidence across global financial markets.

President-elect Biden’s cabinet choices, particularly Janet Yellen’s Treasury Secretary position, are adding to upside momentum across a broad space of asset classes,” said Jim Ritterbusch of Ritterbusch and Associates.

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Economy

Seyi Makinde Proposes N266.6 Billion Budget for Oyo State in 2021

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The Executive Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, has presented the Oyo State Budget Proposal for the 2021 Fiscal Year to the Oyo State House of Assembly on Monday.

The proposed budget titled “Budget of Continued Consolidation” was said to be prepared with input from stakeholders in all seven geopolitical zones of Oyo state.

Governor Makinde disclosed this via his official Twitter handle @seyiamakinde.

According to the governor, the proposed recurrent expenditure stood at N136,262,990,009.41 while the proposed capital expenditure was N130,381,283,295.63. Bringing the total proposed budget to N266,6444,273,305.04.

The administration aimed to implement at least 70 percent of the proposed budget if approved.

He said “The total budgeted sum is ₦266,644,273,305.04. The Recurrent Expenditure is ₦136,262,990,009.41 while the Capital Expenditure is ₦130,381,283,295.63. We are again, aiming for at least 70% implementation of the budget.”

He added that “It was my honour to present the Oyo State Budget Proposal for the 2021 Fiscal Year to the Oyo State House of Assembly, today. This Budget of Continued Consolidation was prepared with input from stakeholders in all seven geopolitical zones of our state.”

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