Benjamin Babine, Abuja
The Federal Government has disclosed that it is seeking solutions to the problem stifling the growth of the private sector and its ability to actively create more jobs for the unemployed.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, at the opening of the FOURTH National Employment Council in Abuja, with the theme: “Stimulating and Sustaining Private Sector Growth”.
Ngiger who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Yerima Peter Tarfa, noted that the private sector plays a critical role in the economy through job creation, and emphasised Government’s concern in addressing the growth challenges in the sector and its inability to create jobs optimally.
He noted that Government alone cannot provide jobs for all the unemployed youths, saying that Government’s major responsibility is “providing the enabling environment for private sector initiatives to create jobs for the unemployed.”
Ngige further urged the participants at the Council meeting to holistically deliberate on the challenges mitigating against the growth of the private sector and come up with useful suggestions that will promote the job absorption capacity of the sector.
The Minister disclosed that the meeting would also take a decision on the appropriate Government Agency that could take over the functions of the defunct Manpower Board.
Speaking earlier, the Permanent Secretary represented by the Director Employment and WagesLabour and Employment, John Nyamali in his welcome address stated that as the Body responsible for coordinating job creation effort across all sectors of Nigerian economy, the Council was duty-bound to significantly contribute towards achieving “President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda of lifting ten million people out if poverty through productive and freely chosen employment.”
He noted that considering the critical role of Small and Medium Enterprises in economic growth and massive job creation, the Small and Medium Enterprise Developmdnt Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and the National Association of Small and Medium Enterprise (NASME) would also present memoranda at the meeting.
Dr. Yerima described entrepreneurs as the backbone and driving force of contemporary economic growth, “who create continuous streams of wealth and jobs through innovative investment in several sectors of the economy.”