Centre partners OPS to boost employment generation
The National Productivity Centre (NPC) will deepen productivity solutions among members of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) to boost their capacity to generate employment.
The new Director-General of the Centre, Dr. Nasir Raji-Mustapha, who stated this while taking over the reign of the leadership from the erstwhile helmsman, Dr. Kashim Akor, explained that once the productivity level of organisations improves, they will be in a position to create employment on a sustainable basis.
His words: “If one examines labour statistics all over the world, the private sector generates more employment than the public sector. Once the private is empowered with productivity enhancers, it will be grown to a level that it will develop the capacity to absorb all Nigerians looking for jobs. The opportunities, market and population are there. What is lacking is how they can improve their outputs. This is the gap the centre will seek to bridge going forward.
“ Once organisations improve their productivity, the quality and quantity of their outputs will increase, which will lead to more profit margins. They will be in a strong financial position to employ more staffers. We are going to expand the productivity solutions such as productivity and quality improvement programme, which is an interventionist scheme, specifically designed to boost productivity of enterprises whether micro, medium or large ones.”
Raji-Mustapha said he would continue to implement the centre’s 2022-2027 strategic plan that was developed in 2022, saying, “The strategic plan was developed by the centre. As a living document, it requires that we rejig it regularly to be responsive and respond to the nation’s needs.”
The new helmsman, who lauded the immediate past Director-General, described Akor as a colossus productivity advocate, who left great landmark of achievements behind that must be sustained.
Describing his readiness for the tasks ahead, he said: “I have been with the productivity family since 1994 and have passed through the ranks to be a director before my appointment. I have been an operational officer until about 10 years ago when I was moved to the procurement department. So, I am grounded in productivity science and a certified productivity consultant. I was the first technical assistant to the former Director-General, Dr. Paul Bdliya. So, I know what the nation needs from the centre in terms of our contributions to national development.”
He said the centre is collaborating with the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), and National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on data generation, especially as it relates to productivity statistics, saying, “Beyond data gathering, the centre will use the data to design programmes that will be of benefit to the business community, such as micro, small and medium scale enterprises, governments both at the federal and state level to improve the national productivity.
“We are working towards the creation of a national productivity movement that will not leave anyone behind. We will work with groups such as trade unions, schools and the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) to ensure that our young graduates understand what productivity is and how to deploy productivity tools to improve their efficiency.”
In his speech, Akor charged the new management to deepen productivity awareness among young people and businesses.
“Invariably, if jobs are created and productivity is low, those jobs can be lost because there is no effective utilisation of opportunities and resources. This is why the NPC believes that we must up our game by ensuring that the productivity message goes down to the grassroots.
“We must ensure that youths who are the leaders of tomorrow are encouraged and taught how to imbibe the culture of productivity early in their lives. Youths must always think about how to improve what they doing currently. There is no limit to what the brain can conceive and deliver once we take a deliberate effort to expand and improve what we are currently doing.
“In this computer age, there is nothing that cannot be achieved. No one can quantify the extent Artificial Intelligence (AI) will take the world yet. So, our youths, who are in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector, have a world of unending possibilities before them. Our task at the centre is to continuously expose them to how they can improve their productivity to develop our country.”
He stressed that if productivity elements are mainstreamed into existing jobs, it will be sustainable. “In fact, mainstreaming productivity principles into existing jobs will not only improve the outputs but will lead to the creation of more jobs because profitability will increase thereby empowering the owner of such a business to expand and be in a position to employ more hands. There cannot be economic prosperity in a work environment that has low productivity. Therefore, productivity is the wheel that oils high yield and profitability,” he added.