The World Bank on Thursday, July 16, revealed that around 42% of Nigeria’s workforce lost their jobs between March and June following the shutdown of the economy in the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak.
This disclosure was made by Ahmed Rostom, Senior Financial Sector Specialist, World Bank, at the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) Webinar Series’ virtual knowledge-sharing series titled ‘Risk Sharing: A Key Driver for Increased Financial Access and Economic Development for MSMEs.’
Rostom presented data from surveys executed by the World Bank between April and June 2020 on the economic growth constraints as well as the impact of COVID-19 in the country.
42 percent of persons working before March 2020, particularly those in the hospitality and service industry, are out of a job, Rostom said.
Panelists also acknowledged that Credit Guarantees Schemes were notable policy documents; created to alleviate credit constraints confronting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).
Ayodele Olojede, Group Head Emerging Business at Access Bank said MSMEs did not have steady and also sustained access to finance.
He added that “risk-sharing facilities will help increase access to finance which helps MSMEs grow, increases employment and output in the economy”.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Mr. Adeniyi Adebayo, on Thursday, July 16, announced the inauguration of a campaign strategy team for Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who is vying for the post of the director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
According to Adebayo, the team will be led by the Minister of State for Industry, Trade, and Investment, Mrs. Mariam Katagum; towards ensuring that Okonjo-Iweala emerges victorious in her quest for the WTO top shot.
The Minister further stated that the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to nominate the former minister of finance as Nigeria’s candidate for the position was taken in good faith.
This is in consideration of the need to host Africa’s chance; and for the promotion of gender mainstreaming at the world’s top trade post.
Adebayo also expressed optimism that Okonjo-Iweala would emerge as the next WTO boss; based on her capabilities and wealth of experience at the highest level of the World Bank as a development economist; diplomat and one of Africa’s most trusted technocrats.
He said: “An eminently qualified candidate in the position of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala with proven leadership; bold reformer; skillful negotiator with abilities to broker numerous agreements that would promote fair trade should be selected for the position of the Director-General of the WTO; I am confident that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala possesses the qualities to lead the most important global multilateral body.”