Former Director-General of the National Centre for Economic Management and Administration and Chairman Goldman Education Academy, Prof Mike Obadan, has decried the low level of productivity in Nigeria.
Obadan is particularly worried on low less capacity in agriculture, industries and services, insisting that productivity is low in the private sector and much lower in the public sector.
He was guest speaker at the National Productivity Day Celebration and Conferment of National Productivity Order of Merit Award in Abuja, where he explained that a country’s ability to raise output impacts welfare and reduces poverty.
He observed that the problem of low productivity is not peculiar to Nigeria, adding that from available data most African countries have low productivity value as well.
He further explained that in Nigeria, productivity is impeded by several factors which include, weak and non-functional educational system, inadequate training, poor access to health facilities coupled with the phenomenon of drug infested environment and low labour compensation in the public sector.
“Other challenges include that of poor state of infrastructure, especially power and transport, relatively low investment in the economy, in both public and private sector, insecurity challenge which pose danger to lives and property as well as bad governance, particularly high level of corruption”, Obadan the Guest Speaker at this year’s event said.
For Nigeria to get out of the quagmire of low productivity, he harped on the need for investment in human capital development, focus on technological growth-oriented economy, improved funding for health and education, institutionalization of adequate reward and penal system.
The former D-G also recommended increased investment in research and development activities, modernization of small holder agricultural services and integrate into the agribusiness chains, encourage small scale businesses.
He further said: “Step up rural development and productivity in agriculture through adequate public investment in rural infrastructure, develop a strategy to contain the menacing phenomenon of insurgency and insecurity, improve governance, especially through fighting corruption”.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, said in this year’s merit award, 25 individuals and seven organisations were recognized for their sterling qualities and contributions to Nigeria.
Awardees include, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Mr. Tony Elumelu, Mr. Otudeko, Col. Hammed Ali, Mr. John Momoh, Hajia Muheeba Dankaka, Mr. Boboye Oyeyemi and Prof. Ishaq Oloyede.
President Mohammadu Buhari, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, recalled that he inherited a weak economy, a situation which he said, his administration has now returned to full productivity in agriculture and job creation.
President Buhari also stated that the Federal Government is intervening with the school meal programme, small business support, attention to infrastructure particularly in roads and railway as well as fighting corruption.
He urged state governments to promote fiscal discipline and efficient use of scarce resources.