Employers seek support for businesses to create jobs
For the government to address the increasing rate of unemployment and poverty in the country, serious attention and support must be given to organised businesses to thrive and flourish, the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), has said.
NECA said the support is necessary considering the current regulatory environment characterised by strangulation and crass exploitation of businesses.
The Association also urged that specific palliatives and job retention schemes should be made available to organised businesses to fast-track economic recovery and promote job creation.
President of NECA, Taiwo Adeniyi, who spoke recently, disclosed how the Association’s job fair earlier in the year attracted over 2,000 job seekers and 30 employers.
He said the programme created a platform for job seekers to directly engage employers of labour, saying the success of the event has reinforced its commitment to do more.
He noted that the high unemployment rate and the disruptions created by COVID-19, has the potential to skyrocket the prevailing crime rate, poverty level, insurgency, child labour, militancy, armed robbery, kidnappings and drug abuse, among others in the country.
According to him, the private sector creates nine of every 10 jobs created globally. With the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council’s (PEBEC), target to be in the top 70 positions by 2023, NECA said the improvement in the ease of doing business has not translated into an improved economy, as the major indicators of the economy are still in distress.
Beyond the rhetoric of improved rating, NECA called for the establishment of an engagement platform between organised businesses and PEBEC, the purpose of which would be to quarterly review economic indices and juxtapose theoretical analysis with realities on the production floor.
This, NECA said, will enable an objective feedback process for PEBEC for the good of the nation.
“Cost of production remains high, capacity utilisation is at the lowest ebb and the regulatory environment is consistently hostile.
“A report by the World Bank Enterprise Survey showed that 322 organised businesses were shut down between 2004 and 2019, with another 136 reported to be at the risk of closing down. This, to say the least, is a highly conservative number as the total closures would have significantly increased with attendant job losses.
“Government needs to pay attention to the private sector. For every ten jobs created, nine come from the private sector. The implementation of all the things PEBEC is coming up with stops at the point where government agencies need to be implementing those orders; they frustrate it and throw it at us. For instance, goods arrive at the Nigerian ports and it takes forever to get them out, it is a total mess,” NECA said.