Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM) and Professor Kanu Ikechukwu Anthony have urged the Federal Government of Nigeria to use hard lessons being learnt during the COVID-19 pandemic to turn around the economy.
The advice was given at the online summit of JIFORM on Thursday titled: Migration; COVID-19 Era: The Role of Stakeholders.
Calling on migration journalists to help position the economy, Ajibola said, “we must therefore not fail to make the lessons being learnt count in future day to day life by re-orientating the people to be more committed to nation building and the need for government to be more responsible to the governed.
“In Africa, there is need to reappraise the migration policy and make it tally with the economic mentality. The reality at the moment is that many Governments on the continent have failed woefully to invest in health, agriculture, infrastructure, education, commerce and industry as well as social security of the citizens.
“If we must reach our goals and live the dreams of the founding fathers, clearly both the government and the people must have a rededicate themselves and amend their ways.”
The JIFORM President added that “solutions to the economic challenges in the world lie in the manner countries manage migration policy. People cannot but move from one location to the other for the purpose of commerce, relationship, survival, safety and others” .
Ikechukwu while addressing the over 150 members of JIFORM spread across the continent said thus.
“To boost the economy, the Federal government needs to intervene in the area of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME). These SMEs are significant as they contribute to economic development of the nation through their assets, revenues and employees.
“With COVID-19 threatening their existence, many who work with them will be going home without salary, may be for the second month. Some are already running serious losses unlike bigger establishments that have reserves to keep them going. For the economy to survive at this time, the government needs to bail out these SMEs.
“To protect the economy, there might be the need to look at the cost of governance. No system can maintain a large board at a time like this. No economy can make serious progress when its running cost is on the lead of other costs.”
According to the scholar, there was the need to plead for the suspension of servicing or cancelation of international debts. In this way, the local economy would be given the breathing space to recover from the economic depression which COVID-19 pandemic has created.
“The Nigerian government must lead economic diversification drive. It is obvious that the one-tracked, monolithic reliance on oil has failed. Diversification priorities would lead to alternative economic sectors such as agriculture, solid minerals, manufacturing and services sectors” he advised.
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