The Federal Government has said it cannot increase emoluments or downsize workers without productivity measurement.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige said this in his welcome address at the 3rd National Productivity Summit in Abuja, organised by the National Productivity Centre (NPC).
Ngige explained that Nigeria cannot make progress without productivity measurement in various sectors of the national economy, including the public service, banking, business and agriculture.
The Minister who advocated for the propagation of the culture of productivity, also stressed the need for Nigeria to measure her productivity as a country.
According to him, productivity as the efficient and effective management of available resources, remains a key factor that enables societies to generate wealth and sustain development.
He said, “We must propagate the culture of productivity. Some people are suggesting that we should downsize because a lot of people are at work. You cannot do that without measuring productivity.
“Same goes with emoluments. Some people work in ministries while others work in parastatals like NNPC and FIRS. They are not equally paid. The huge disparity in wages does not give cheer. How we can bridge the gap in wages is important.”
He blamed the disparity in wages for rebellions by labour unions, culminating in incessant industrial disputes.
He described the theme of the summit, “Managing Resources for Higher Productivity, Sustainable Growth and Development,” as very apt, as Nigeria was in dire straits because it did not diversify its economy to enhance productivity.
He said, “Nigeria is blessed with enormous human and natural resources and, therefore, has the potential to be a major economic power. Yet, having an abundance of these resources does not guarantee development except they are properly harnessed, mobilized and maximized. The aim is not only to secure new and additional resources but to also make better use of existing ones.
“Mobilising domestic resources for productive investment is a long-standing challenge for most developing countries like ours. Weak demand, rising debt and volatile capital flows have left many economies.
“However, there are compelling reasons why more emphasis should be given to domestic resource mobilisation. It is vital to increased productivity, employment and revenue generation, wealth creation and poverty reduction.”
Ngige noted that through efficient and effective mobilisation and management of resources, countries accelerate their economic growth by raising and spending their own funds for public goods and essential services like schools, hospitals, clean water, electricity and roads.
He added that for a country to attain sustainable development, “it is critical to identify, mobilise and manage these resource.”
The Permanent Secretary, Labour and Employment, Ms Kachollom S. Daju, mni, urged the participants to be hard working and more productive in their various capacities in order to contribute to the socio-economic growth of the country.
Also speaking, Director General, National Productivity Centre, Dr Kashim Akor, called for the collective effort of the critical stakeholders in the productivity movement, and all Nigerians to fashion out specific solutions to the challenges militating against productivity improvement, growth and development in the country.
Akor noted that in the effort to promote productivity, the Centre had engaged Nigerians at various levels through productivity researches and surveys, productivity promotion and advocacy, productivity coaching and mentoring, and award of excellence, among other instruments.
Chairman, National Productivity Summit Planning Committee, Dr Gbenga Bamiduro, stated that the 3rd National Productivity Summit was designed to bring experts and stakeholders together for robust conversations on the mobilization and management of resources in the country for higher productivity.