European Union
European Union

The European Union (EU) says it is providing 86.7 million U.S. dollars to the World Bank-assisted State Employment and Expenditure for Result (SEEFOR) projects in Nigeria’s Bayelsa, Delta, Edo and Rivers states.

European Union
European Union
Its Program Manager, Economic Governance and Trade Cooperation Section, Omotunde Oni, announced the development at a workshop on the Informal Sector Study of four SEEFOR States in Abuja on Thursday.

Oni said the workshop was timely as it would benefit the states and the Federal Government in utilizing the potential of the informal sector for Nigeria’s economic growth.

The EU official told his audience that the current developments in the Nigerian economy especially with the recession in oil revenues to the country and security challenges that were negatively affecting oil production and export.

“There is a drastic reduction in the demand for Nigerian oil in the international market, occasioned by volatility in the market and other intrusive factors,” he added.

“It is safe to assume that Nigeria will have to contend with the reality of continued reduction in oil revenue for sometime to come,” he said.

The EU official added that the impact of this reality on the Nigerian economy calls for urgent and concrete steps by the government to ensure a long-term mitigation of the adverse effect of dependence on oil revenue.
“In this regard, it is instructive that the Federal Government is already planning and taking measures to increase non-oil revenue, blocking leakages in the oil sector and stabilizing the foreign exchange regime,” Oni added.

He said there was the need for concerted efforts by the government to ensure adequate coverage, constructive engagement and integration of the informal sector into the mainstream of economic planning and development.
Oni said available statistics on Nigeria’s rebased Gross Domestic Product put the informal sector as accounting for about 57 percent of the GDP.

He wondered why this huge sector of the economy and its potential for economic growth has not been fully documented and utilized.

He said the study of the informal sector of the SEFOR beneficiary states could not happen at a better time than now in view of the immense benefits it could accrue to the states and the Federal Government if the output is implemented.

Oni said in harmony with the policy thrust of the current administration, the development of the informal sector was a sine qua non for generating employment.

According to him, the informal sector’s development would reduce crimes perpetrated by idle, unemployed youths, increased the GDP and reduced poverty in Nigeria. Enditem

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