The federal government on Saturday solicited the understanding of Nigeria’s organised private sector against massive workers’ lay off at the moment, stating that the country’s economy is rather unstable and unable to take the likely shock from such exercise.
The government said in Abuja that the sack of any employee would have serious negative effect not just on the retrenched fellow, but on the country’s larger economy.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige who spoke at the investiture ceremony of Otis Anyaeji as the 30th President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), explained that government would appreciate the understanding of the private sector on such request.
Ngige, who was represented by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr. James Ocholi, said the role of engineers in job creation could not be over-emphasised, adding that the provision of employment was one of the cardinal objectives of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He therefore urged the private sector operators at the event to continually seek for creative ways to manage their workforce without necessarily increasing the number of unemployed persons in Nigeria through sack or retrenchment.
He said, “I think it is important to state that we should not lay off staff at this critical stage, because if we do, we will be creating more problems. You should try to micro-manage and retain the staff that you have now. Because no matter how much we accommodate, government alone cannot be the largest employer of labour. The largest employer of labour is, of course, the private sector.”
Earlier in his address, the new NSE president said engineering was key to over 95 per cent of the activities in the public and private sectors of the economy.
Anyaeji said engineering infrastructure, industrial and agricultural economics were critical for adequate planning and management of any economy. He noted that the NSE under him would strive to create a national appreciation of engineering as key to Nigeria’s industrialisation.