The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has said that the lack of a clear- cut policy direction by the present administration was to blame for Nigeria’s current economic downturn.
Speaking recently in Lagos, at the Association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) President of NECA, Larry Ettah, said: “While there is no doubt that the past administration was profligate in its management of our commonwealth, it is quite evident that the lack of clarity about the economic agenda of the current government and some wrong policy choices have contributed to the current economic stagnation and recession.”
Ettah said: “We, therefore, welcome the thrust of 2016 budget of which recognises that meaningful GDP growth requires quality spending to reflate the economy.
“We need to invest in boosting our infrastructural stock; we need to reduce our domestic debt, and there is the need to spend to position our economy to be export oriented and less dependent on import. We hope this budget will be faithfully implemented as this is key to the revival of the economy from the current recession.”
He urged government to avowed commitment to infrastructural renewal as reflected in the provision of N1.8trillion to capital expenditure in the national budget.
‘’We believe this will further stimulate the economy, if diligently implemented, it will turn around the nation’s infrastructural deficit, government’s effort must seek for increased private-public partnership initiatives to bridge the funding gap.”
He then appealed to government to ensure that the proposed capital expenditure is realised through a quick strategy to fund the N2.2 trillion deficits in the budget, otherwise plans for infrastructure upgrades and economic stimulus through such spending may not materialise.
The Director of International Labour Organisation (ILO) Dennis Zulu, also said this year’s NECA AGM theme: “Promoting sustainable enterprise in Nigeria” is indeed critical at this point in time when Nigeria’s economic development is currently faced with dwindling oil revenues, devaluation of the naira and slowing GDP growth rate. “Indeed, it has become imperative to go back to the drawing board to redefine Nigeria’s investment climate.
“In Nigeria, unemployment, poverty and inequality remain critical obstacles to sustainable development and national stability and to put an end to it, more need to be done to stimulate inclusive growth, reconciling economic growth with social inclusion and environmental protection.
“More and better jobs are urgently needed to maintain social cohesion, achieve broad-based well-being and reduce poverty and the jobs must be of the future productive and of good quality while preserving the natural environment on which future development depends,” he said.
He said for the country to address the present challenges, there is a need for well-articulated policies, strategies, programmes, and provision of businesses, either individually or by their representative organisation in order to add great value to relevant public policy dialogues.
President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, however said for the country to tackle the present challenges, it must reduce the level of imports, and increase its exports through increase in manufacturing activities, while Nigerians should patronise more of local ly made products to boost the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
He also urged employers to pay more attention on workers safety and to ensure respect and tenets of decent work, freedom of association and the inalienable rights of the employees to belong to unions of their choice in their respective workplaces”.
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