FG Targets Increase in GDP

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Aganga

THE implementation of the National Quality Infrastructure Policy, NQIP, which would serve as support to the Nigerian Industry Revolution Plan, will help to grow the country’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, to $558.45 billion within the next five years. Olusegun Aganga, minister of industry, trade and investment, made this known while speaking at the second meeting of the National Steering Committee for the Nigerian National Quality Policy in Abuja on Tuesday, May 27.

Aganga, who said the country’s GDP would rise from N510 billion to N558.5 billion in five years’ time, explained that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss in plenary, the progress so far made by the different sub-committees which were constituted during the inaugural meeting of January 27, 2013 and this year. “With National Quality Infrastructure in place, a skyrocketed increase is anticipated from our GDP from $510 billion in 2013 to $558.45 billion, a 10 percent growth within the first five-year implementation period,” he said.

The minister was optimistic that with an increase in the contribution of the services sector from the previous 26 percent to 51 percent, all the energy of the government would be channelled to fast track the early take off of the NQIP. Aganga said this quality policy which would enhance Nigeria’s reputation as a provider of quality products and services in the global market will also give credence to the commitment of the World Trade Organisation, WTO, by the signing of the agreement on trade facilitation  at the 9th Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia, in December, 2013.

He said the national policy would seek to stop the conflicts that might arise as a result of duplication of mandates. “We must join hands and see this assignment as a step towards creating an enabling environment for the public and private sectors to achieve global excellence in the quality of goods and services.”

 

Foreign Welders Invade Nigerian Market

THE Nigerian Welders Association, NWA, has called on the federal government to curb the influx of foreigners competing for welding jobs in the oil and gas sector and other sectors of the economy. Pius Itama, president, NWA, said members of the association were facing the possibility of unemployment caused by the flooding of the Nigerian welding market by foreigners, mostly Chinese, Indians and Lebanese.

Abba Moro, minister of interior
Abba Moro, minister of interior

He made the call at a two- day National Executive Council, NEC, meeting of the association in Ogun State. According to the NWA, the association had about 20,000 members out of which less than 10 percent are employed by the multinational companies operating here in Nigeria. “Instead of employing Nigerian trained professional welders in order to reduce the unemployment rate in the country, these multinational companies still bring in some half-baked foreigners to come and do the job. We have so many construction works going on across the country now which involve welding. Go to the cement factory in Okpella, the one in Ogun state, Agbami oil rig and so on, these are places where our expertise is needed, but instead of employing Nigerians, you will see thousands of those foreigners doing these jobs, even up to the person driving forklift. Funny enough, the federal government, Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, amongst others are turning out trained welders everyday only for them to be roaming the streets without having any work to do because their works had been taken over by foreigners,” he said.

According to Itama, since the inception of welding and construction works in the country, Nigerians have been fully involved in the construction of the refineries both in Warri, Port Harcourt, Kaduna and even some petrochemical industries and cement factories. He said if  Nigerians were the ones who carried out the welding works, why is it now that they are saying the welders can no longer do it?

“I am not sure the Presidency is aware of this problem because if it is, I have the conviction that it would have done something about it. I believe it was some disgruntled elements in authority that are manipulating this thing because of their own selfish interest and they will not tell the Presidency the truth of the matter because most of them are the owners of the companies where all these foreigners work,” he lamented.

Itama stressed that the Nigeria Immigration Service, ministry of internal affairs, and the Nigeria Customs Service, should brace up to their duties, as most of the foreigners do not even have the requisite skills and the legal documents to work in the country.

NBS Survey on Job Creation

THE Nigerian economy created 1.163 million jobs during the 2013 fiscal year. The jobs, according to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, NBS,in its latest job creation survey result released on Monday, May 26, were created in the formal, informal and public sectors of the economy.

A breakdown of the figure showed that 431,021 jobs were created in the first quarter of 2013. For the second quarter, the NBS said 221,054 jobs were created, while the figure increased in the third and fourth quarters to 245,989 and 265,702, respectively. Yemi Kale, statistician general of the federation and chief executive officer, NBS, said the jobs were as a result of business expansion, seasonal growth and the need to attract new skills. “These reasons for employment generation point to a thriving business environment in the country and give further credence to the economic growth indicators,” he said

Kale
Kale

Kale explained that contrary to views expressed in some quarters that jobs were not being generated; many jobs had been created in the economy. He said for the impact of the job creation to be felt, the number of jobs created had to surpass significantly the number being demanded. “Job creation is, no doubt, a pressing topic in Nigeria as stakeholders struggle with the fact that despite several years of impressive annual growth rates, unemployment and under employment remain relatively high. This doesn’t mean that jobs are not being created. The question is whether the jobs being created are enough to meet the demand for jobs. This would, invariably translate to an average of 1.8 million jobs every year. Even if the number of jobs being created matched  the number being demanded, there will  still the problem of existing pool of millions unemployed. Thus, for any meaningful impact on jobs created, the number of jobs created has to surpass significantly the jobs demanded otherwise the impact of the jobs being created will not be visibly felt and this will lead to the understandable suggestion that no jobs are really being created.”

The NBS boss noted that the result of the job creation survey  conducted by the bureau revealed that the informal sector has continued to lead the way in new employments generated in the economy. For instance, he said in the second, third and fourth quarters of 2013, the informal sector contributed over 54 per cent of the total employment generated, making it the highest employer of labour in the economy.

“A breakdown of the jobs created in the second quarter indicates that 80,412 jobs were created in the formal sector; 112,567 jobs in the informal sector and 28,075 in the public sector. The formal sector contributed 76,385 jobs to the total jobs generated in the third quarter of 2013, while the informal and public sectors generated 140,673 and 28,931 jobs, respectively.”

Compiled by Anayo Ezugwu

— Jun. 9, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT

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