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‘Increasing retirement age aggravates unemployment – ABCON

By Akinnodi Francis

The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has cautioned against increasing the retirement age, stressing that it works against policies to reduce youth unemployment in the country.
The association stated this in its Quarterly Economic Review report for the third quarter of the year (Q3 2020) made available to The Hope
It added that the Federal Government should prepare post retirement facilities instead of increasing retirement age.
The ABCON’s position was against the backdrop of the recent decision of the Federal Government to increase the retirement age of teachers from 60 to 65 years.
The association also cautioned the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) against pegging the interest rates and other variables, stressing that this could lead to malfunctioning of the system.
The association recommended that the monetary authority should intervene in selected priority sectors through incentives, adding that it would allow for smooth flow of the whole economy, especially when complemented with fiscal management efforts.
Also, stressing the need for the CBN to address the huge exchange rate mismatch in the forex market, the association, stated: “It is imperative for the monetary authority to actively participate with precision through market level interventions.
Also, an economist, Elder Fessy Olabode said the Federal Government should promote policy to reduce youth unemployment with a view to addressing social unrest.
He noted that recovery from the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nation’s economy would be determined by a structured and people-oriented policy aimed at resolving the macroeconomic imbalance arising from the disruptions.
The Akure based economist, however, advised that, “Government spending should be directed towards business recovery, poverty alleviation and infrastructure development and structured to give a good mix with monetary policy trust.”
Speaking on pegging the interest rates and other variables, he advised the CBN to consider raising the liquidity ratio of banks to discourage foreign currency holding and thereby increase availability of forex, especially for the purpose of increasing liquidity at the official retail segment where BDCs operate.
He however called for increased cooperation among BDC operators so as to attract autonomous foreign exchange inflows facilitated by the reopening of the economy.
“Operators are set to make windfalls as foreign currency arrears coming from the long business lockdown are reopening. Traders through cooperation can attract huge autonomous foreign exchange volume through interplay of fine exchange rate margins from the liquidity in the open market,” he added.

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