Buhari charges organized private sector on job creation


Onyebuchi Ezigbo

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday urged members of the organized private sector to do more in the area of ​​creating as well as securing jobs.

Buhari made the call in a goodwill message to the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) during the first edition of the Nigeria Employers Summit in Abuja.

The President, who was represented by the Minister of Labor and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, noted that the private sector could become the engine of growth in Nigeria by creating jobs, paying the required taxes, as well as ‘providing funds for the execution of works and services.

He also urged the private sector to pay due attention to the decent work agenda and uphold the social protection floor by adopting redundancy as a last option in personnel management, bearing in mind government policy. federal against the cuts.

The President described the theme of the summit, “The Private Sector: An Engine for National Development”, as very appropriate, given the challenges the country faces in terms of job creation and empowerment.

According to him, by achieving the goal of development, the private sector in line with the theme of this summit could become the engine of growth in Nigeria in many ways.

He said: “While the government is working with unions to ensure corporate sustainability by building and protecting a strong national industrial relations system, on the other hand, businesses are also protected and able to succeed.

“They are therefore expected to drive growth, create jobs and pay the necessary taxes to stimulate investment, finance works and services to improve the social welfare of the people in the field of education, the provision of basic equipment, drinking water, transport, care. elderly and other horizontal and vertical forms of social protection/social security that include, but are not limited to, empowerment of the least privileged and most vulnerable in society.

“In this regard, I am pleased that the National Labor Advisory Council (NLAC), of which NECA is a member, has initiated the review of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention No. 102 on Social Security (Minimum Standards), which comprises nine thematic areas or branches for Nigeria to ratify, although they are being considered in stages due to the enormity of coverage provided by the Convention. When this feat is accomplished, the role of the private sector in national development will be highlighted.

Buhari said the government expects more partnerships with (NECA) as an employer-umbrella body and with businesses, including multinationals in their individual rights and capacities.

According to him, such partnerships would enable and create more opportunities for corporate social responsibility (CSR) by these companies, in line with the principles contained in the ILO instrument, “Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and social policy”.

He said the instrument provides direct guidance to businesses on social policy and inclusive, responsible and sustainable workplace practices.

“We hope to walk and work with our words as we deliberate on the private sector as the engine of national development. The advent of COVID-19 and its consequences have given rise to areas of global socio-economic interventions and models of development.

“As we consider the principles of just transition and the results of the deliberations of the recently concluded International Labor Conference in Geneva on decent work and the social and solidarity economy, let us bring this terminology back to our basics and make the most of it. for our people.”

The country director of the ILO office for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Vanessa Phala, said she anticipated that “the summit will contribute to further advancing the Decent Work Agenda (from ILO) with concrete steps towards an improved business environment for the Nigerian private sector.

Earlier in a welcome address, NECA Chairman and Chairman Taiwo Adeniyi said that although the private sector plays an important role in achieving the national development plan, it was inhibited by challenges such as policy incoherence, authoritarian regulatory frameworks, multiplicity of taxes, inadequate infrastructure and insecurity.

Adeniyi said it was gratifying to note that businesses had shown resilience and tenacity in turning the wheel of the economy.

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