What do Nigeria need now? A reform on the Employment Policy or A Human Capital Development Framework

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The Problem Statement

A man willing to work, and unable to find work, is perhaps the saddest sight that fortune’s inequality exhibits under this sun. The above quote by Thomas Carlyle, relates to the Nigerian society, coupled with the fact that some Nigerian youths are unemployable and this revolves around the diverse social economic problems from the archaic educational curriculum, to the absence of a human capital development framework, down to the societal pressure and perspective on employment and the climax of it all, is the lack of basic and sustainable amenities to promote and attract startups and foreign investors. These and many more factors led to the National Employment Policy in 2002, which aims at addressing the issue of unemployment in Nigeria.

The Policy Solution

The National Employment Policy 2002, is a :

“A vision and a practical plan for achieving a country’s employment goals; it is not just a job creation programme. It takes into account a whole range of social and economic issues. It affects many areas of government  not just the areas in charge of Labour and employment but every part of the economy. It brings together various measures, programmes and institutions that influence the demand and supply of Labour and the functioning of Labour markets”

The philosophy behind the design of employment policy is driven by the need for the creation of a decent and sustainable work environment in the Nigerian economy. This will be aided by enabling policies and this includes promoting national, economic and social policy for men and women to attain a secured and sustainable livelihood. The NEP has  designed strategies that will promote skills and competencies for those in the formal and informal sector especially in rural areas. The involvement of the private sector and transformation of the informal sector into formal sector is not left out to enhance the integration of migrant Labour on employment outcomes in the Nigerian Labour market and within the West African sub-region. This will be better promoted with the creation and maintenance of a functional Labour market information system (LMIS) in Nigeria.

To promote the implementation of the NEP, stakeholders are committed to the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) with the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s active cooperation and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

 

NIGAC Constructive Position /take

With series of development and unprecedented changes that has realigned the workforce and Labour market locally and internationally, the anticipated successful implementation of the policy needs to be revisited to accommodate the new diversity, expectations and knowledge boom that has ravished the whole world. That is, employment and poverty challenges facing Nigeria which is quite critical as a result of the pandemic, as the country’s Labour force has undergone vigorous transformations at the informal and formal sector. This is heightened with changing demographics, an increasing promotion of self-employment, freelance work, co-working scope and increasing intensity of the 4th Industrial revolution economy.

Additionally, the world as rapidly become a global village with disruptive and accelerated digital transformation. This has redefined work force management, employment portfolio, job description, human resources management, workforce delivery, international collaboration and co-working space and tools making others.

Also, with Nigeria’s working age and youthful population, most jobs created recent times are mostly from the informal sector. For instance, 54 percent of the 1,167,740 jobs created in 2013 came from the informal sector; the formal sector (private) accounted for 37 percent, while 9 percent was generated in the public sector (World Bank, 2014) which keeps gaining momentum. This calls for the need for a HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK for Nigeria, which is the solution to not just unemployment challenges but many other socioeconomic and developmental problems of the country.

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