‘Manufacturing sector’s growth unable to create needed jobs’
Concerned stakeholders in the manufacturing industry have lamented that the sector is not growing fast enough to meet the nation’s four million jobs yearly aspirations.
An Economist and a member of faculty, Lagos Business School, Dr Doyin Salami, while peaking at the chamber’s breakfast event of the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), themed: Positioning growth: Q1 2018 Assessment and Action plan posited that the industry is presently generating less than half of the target.
He said the fastest and most consistent growing sector is agriculture, which is growing at 27-28 per cent.
“Agriculture and mining will continue to grow but will grow slower than all the other sectors especially manufacturing. In 2010 Agriculture was 30 per cent of Nigeria’s labour force but today, it is about 45 per cent. Labour is shifting into Agriculture rather than what we will expect in standard economy for labour to shift out of agriculture.
“Why? Because the manufacturing sector is not growing as fast as providing the number of jobs that it should and we keep talking about inclusive growth. Nigeria needs to be generating three to four million jobs every year. We are probably doing less than half of that and that creates huge problem for us” he added.
He urged government to focus more on human capital development that can help create a society where citizens have sense of the future rather than physical infrastructural development.
He accused the government of investing on physical projects rather than human capital development so they can easily be re-elected.
Salami said to achieve stable economic growth, education should be the leaders’ priority adding that teachers have to be well-trained and accorded the level of respect they deserved.
“I have seen students being taught in a class that has a leaking roof; all these children going to nice fancy schools abroad will still come back and meet these ones except they are not coming back.
“We are in a political system where physical infrastructure is accorded more value because the voters can see this, if you don’t develop human capacity, you are going nowhere and I don’t think the government is unaware of this” he said.
The president, Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce NBCC, Akinola Olawore has advised government to make policies that will help to stabilize all sectors of the economy.
The Chamber noted that while taxes are required to generate money for infrastructural development and finance other needs of the economy; the authorities should also consider that the people they tax also lack cash.
Olawore stated that the economy is recovering and doing better, but these improvements still lack visible impact on businesses.
For instance, he said if Nigeria is growing moderately at 0.83 per cent and the population is growing at 3.5 per cent, it means the growth of the economy is less than the growth of the population.