The Centre for Democracy and Development has said that the high rate of unemployment and increased poverty partly triggered the security challenges in the country.

This was part of the observation made by the group in its report after assessing President Muhammadu Buhari’s five years in office.

CDD also lamented insufficient infrastructure in the country, saying it has hindered economic growth. It added that the closure of the country’s border had created more problems than solutions. 

The group, however, rated the President high in reforms and policies in the business environment that has made Nigeria one of the top-ten economies across the world with the most notable improvements in doing business in both 2019 and 2020.

“The other area of good scoring for the administration on the economy is the Finance Act 2019, which was described glowingly as a policy game-changer implemented by the administration,” the report says.

The report partly reads, “With the programme supporting over 1.5 million farmers in cultivating 16 agricultural commodities in its four-year existence, it has been celebrated as one of the milestones in the much talked about  push for the diversification of the economy.”  

On the less cheery side is the low score the administration got for job losses and the increasing poverty in the land. 

Data referenced in the report shows that about 4.04 million persons lost their jobs in 2015, as unemployment and underemployment rate increased from 6.4 per cent and 17.9 per cent in Q42014 to 10.4 per cent and 18.7 per cent in Q42015. 

The assessment shows that in the period under review, the unemployment rate was high among youths, as about 5.3 million youths within the age bracket of 15-24 could not get a job in 2015. 

The report noted  that, “The high rate of unemployment and increased poverty partly triggered the security challenges in the country, which was a key campaign promise of the President." 

Also, the report notes that despite some reforms introduced by the administration, there remained some key issues in the regulatory environment which served as obstacles to a business-friendly environment. 

According to the assessment, these issues include the limited access to electricity and credit as well as inadequate measures towards resolving insolvency. 

The report called for lasting solutions to the age-long infrastructure challenges that hinder economic growth, particularly, the crisis in the power sector, which exponentially increases the cost of doing business.

“If not within Nigeria, enormous capital exists outside the country which can be deployed to deliver the much-needed infrastructure. However, projects will need to be bankable with clear and agreed-upon means of obtaining the returns on investment,” the report read.

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