Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, said Tuesday that about 85 percent of Nigerians were living in poverty, but was however quick to add that the Buhari government was taking concrete steps to address the high level of poverty in the land.
The Minister who spoke at a productivity awareness lecture for staff of the Ministry assured that the present government was a government for the down trodden in the society and will stop at nothing to ensure a better life for Nigerians.
According to him, the Buhari government came into office based on its three cardinal campaign promises of addressing insecurity, revamping the economy and fighting corruption in the land.
While saying that the primary purpose of government was the security and welfare of the people, the Minister said the Buhari government was fighting insurgency in the country with a lot of vigor, giving assurance that the government will be civil service friendly.
The Minister announced the introduction of complaint boxes in all agencies and departments of the Ministry to serve as cross fertilization of ideas between the staff and the Minister, saying “I will read all the letters you drop in the box. But don’t write frivolous petitions because I don’t like such things.”
Senator Ngige told the workers that productivity is universally acknowledged as crucial and critical to a country’s competitiveness and its integration into the global economy.
He said further that it has also been acknowledged that economic downturn, decline and stagnation can be traced to low productivity, saying “It is in realization of this fact that the federal government has continued to invest heavily on reform programmes directed at transforming the public service to tackle head on the various challenges that have threatened our survival as a nation, impaired our productive growth and denied us the full dividends of democracy.
There is no doubt that the service needs to be attuned to its responsibilities not only as a source of policy advice and primary executor of programmes, but as the custodian of data and information on which decisions are to be based. It is a matter if regret that rather than record incremental improvement in the discharge of these and other statutory responsibilities, productivities, productivity has remained extremely low in the sector.”
He stressed that the concept of productivity as it relates to the management of human and material resources is an issue that must be tackled assiduously in the public service in order to obtain optimal performance.
He told them that the overall objective of the awareness lecture is to sharpen the skills and competence of the human resources in the Ministry and its agencies as well as to build their knowledge on productivity improvement tools and techniques in order to enhance their capacity for efficient and effective service delivery.
Director General of the National Productivity Centre, Kashim Yunusa Akor said the agency was established to facilitate socio economic growth and development through productivity improvement.
He said the lecture is seen as a veritable tool for the centre to implement the presidential directive on the establishment of productivity units in the public service as well as assist in the development and training of productivity practitioners who will then serve as agents to be used in spreading the productivity message.