The Federal Government is seeking solutions to the problem stifling the growth of the private sector and its ability to actively create more jobs for the unemployed.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, stated this at the opening of the FOURTH National Employment Council holding in Abuja from 19th to 20th October, with the theme: “Stimulating and Sustaining Private Sector Growth”.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Yerima Peter Tarfa, the Minister 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 could not provide jobs for all the unemployed, pointing out that Government’s major responsibility is “providing the enabling environment for private sector initiatives to create jobs for the unemployed.”
Ngige therefore 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 Wages, Labour 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 Development 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.”