Employment: Nigeria Boosts Informal Sector With More Opportunities

By David Atilola

The Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity has been recently strengthened and given a boost for more efficiency and effectiveness, through the recruitment of more labor and factory officers.

This was made known by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Alhaji Kabiru Tanimu Turaki, during the 2014 annual conference of Society of Occupational and Environmental Health Physicians of Nigeria (SOEHPON) with the theme “Occupational Health and the informal sector” held recently at Victoria Island, Lagos.

He said the activities in the informal sector are highly dynamic and contribute substantially to the general growth of the economy

‘’Nigerian government at all levels have adopted policies and programmes aimed at enhancing the performance of the informal sector such as the Entrepreneurship Development Programme of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) which provided participants with the opportunity to acquire entrepreneurial skills and secure loan which enable them establish and operate their own small scale enterprises as part of efforts to support Micro, Small and medium enterprises (MSMEs),” Turaki said.

He further stressed that ‘’each and every one of us has responsibility for stopping deaths, disease and injuries occurring on the job. As government, we are responsible infrastructure i.e. laws, regulations, guidelines, policies and services, as well as the enabling environment necessary to guarantee that workers remain employable’’.

Speaking at the conference, National president of SOEHPON, Dr Dominic Ukpong, asserted the need to show more care and protection for the workers of this country.

He said that the government has being adamant about attaining the need to improving environments for healthcare growth which has become a burden to the society.

“The state of healthcare delivery in our country has been of great concern to our society over the years; hence our message has been consistently appealing to the government for an enabling environment for good healthcare growth. Unfortunately, there has not been any positive response from the government and the situation is looking rather bleak,” Ukpong said.

On his own part, the Permanent Secretary of SOEHPON, Dr. Modele Osunkiyesi noted that the sector is rapidly expanding through the intervention of government in reducing unemployment and also embarked on aggressive training of youths on vocational skills.

‘’The informal sector accounts for about 60% of economic activities in the state, According to united Nation Development programme (UNDP), the informal sector in Nigeria accounts for 57.9% of the nation based G.D.P which perhaps makes the country the largest destination for informal activities in Africa’,’  Osunkiyesi said.

The sector is very crucial to the economic growth of the country and must be redirected for excellence at all times while protecting the wellbeing and the environment.

David Atilola is a Student-Journalist, with a keen interest in development journalism. He is presently studying Mass Communication at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism. He is also a spoken word artist,who believes poetry is a tool to effect a positive social change in the society. David is a Social media enthusiast and writer, using his little voice to speak change to the lives of youths. Follow David on twitter @davidatilola

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