By Victor Ahiuma-Young
LAGOS â€” Organised private sector, theÂ Chemical and Non-Metallic Products industries, yesterday in Lagos, expressed concern over what it termed â€œincreasing skills deficit in the country represented by the large population of unemployable college graduates.â€
Rising from their 31st annual general meeting in Lagos under the umbrella of Chemical and Non-Metallic Products Employersâ€™ Federation, CANMPEF, the employers called on the government to immediately address the trend to save the nation from a looming catastrophe.
They specifically advised the government to establish a proper linkage between the production of manpower and the labour market.
President of CANMPEL, Dr. B O Makanjuola, argued that the governmentâ€™s intention to build a database on all unemployed persons in the country principally to check unemployment and to provide a tool for helping to provide jobs for Nigerians, would be fruitless unless it provided measures that could promote employment-generating initiatives.
â€œThe government wants to tackle the problem of unemployment but she is about going the wrong way. The recently appointed Minister of Labour and Productivity has announced the intention of the government to build a database on all unemployed persons principally to check unemployment and to provide a tool for helping to provide jobs for Nigerians.
How can setting up a database collation project be a priority in arresting the unemployment monster that is about to suck out life blood of the nation? This cannot be a solution in the short term. I think the Minister should concern himself with measures that can promote employment-generating initiatives,â€ Makanjuola said.
â€œThe government is expected to introduce policies that will encourage entrepreneurship and help employers of labour in the private sector who are hamstrung by unfriendly economic climate.
There is also the need to quickly establish a proper linkage between the production of manpower and the labour market. One other issue that should be of worry to government is the increasing skills deficit in the country represented by the large population of unemployable college graduates. There is a clarion call in the land for the Ministry of Labour and Productivity to get going in making meaningful contribution to secure our nation from catastrophic economic meltdown,â€ he added.
In his secretariat report, the Executive Secretary of the Federation, Mr. E. F. Ali, said there was a general lull in economic activities in the year under review as it was adversely affected by the global financial crisis and the associated economic downturn as seen in a fall in share prices and market capitalization, balance of payment, pressures emanating from lower commodity prices, especially oil, reduced government revenue and a decline in foreign exchange reserves.
He said: â€œIf the country is to achieve sustainable growth, there should be diversification of the economy. Furthermore, it is rather unfortunate that epileptic electricity supply in the country is still unresolved. We call on the federal government to proffer a panacea to this national problem.â€