Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, says the Federal Government cannot increase workers’ pay or downsize its employees without productivity measurement.
The minister disclosed this while speaking 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 public service, banking, business and Agriculture.
A statement by Head, Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Olajide Oshundun, quoted the Minister as advocating the propagation of the culture of productivity, stressing 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.
“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 cheers. 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.
Ngige 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 we did not diversify our 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 if they are properly harnessed, mobilized and maximized. The aim is not only to secure new and additional resources but also to 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 increase productivity, employment and revenue generation, wealth creation and poverty reduction.”