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NPC moves to institutionalise productivity culture with PAC

By Funmi Komolafe &  Victor Ahiuma-Young

SINCE the establishment of the National Productivity Centre (NPC), in 1987, with the mandate to stimulate productivity consciousness in all sectors of Nigerian economy, with the aim of  generating  visible improvement in the quantity and quality of services rendered and goods produced, the centre has been trying its best to keep faith with this mandate amidst very difficult operating environment.

However, the level of productivity in Nigeria has continued to be a source of disagreement between Nigerian employers and workers in relation to remuneration. Also it is  common knowledge that no economy can grow without  productivity.

To ensure  citizens imbibe the culture of productivity, the Dr Paul Bdliya led   management of NPC  is embarking on a  Productivity Awareness Campaign (PAC)  which is to institutionalize productivity culture in the Nigerian people using the mass media as its strategic tool and  focusing on jingles, debates, advertisement, press briefing and so on through various media.

Expatiating on PAC during a recent visit to the corporate head office of Vanguard Newspapers in Lagos, the Director-General of NPC, Dr. Bdliya, noted that it is a well-known fact that the average Nigerian is  hard working

According to him: “Manifestation of our legendary industriousness and entrepreneurial instincts abounds – preponderance of self-employed persons, smalt-businesses in all field, and a vibrant press etc.

Unfortunately, what’ should have conferred  a clear competitive advantage is threatened by manifestations of some undesirable elements of work culture -elements, that  appear  to be washing away whatever competitive advantage our natural inclination for hard work confers.

A cultural diagnosis of Nigeria’s pervading work mindset would reveal the following undesirable traits: lateness, absenteeism, indolence, poor time management, culture of waste and profligacy, poor maintenance culture, nepotism cronyism etc. The bad situation is further compounded by low productivity consciousness.

In Nigeria, people are generally ignorant of the true meaning of the concept of productivity. To many of us, productivity is merely working harder- rather than smarter or wiser. Many also believed that being seriously engaged in activities  is all about productivity – even if such activities are not result-oriented, or add any value.

To others, the concept has relevance only in terms of physical, tangible goods and not the intangible, service products. All the negative mindsets, needless to say translates to low productivity that single most crucial determinant of a country’s product/service competitiveness and standard of living.”

“There are chilling statistics to back this up: Recent Global competitiveness rankings released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) revealed a decline  in Nigeria’s ranking from 93 in 2005 to 101 in 2007. The same WEF ranked Nigeria 95th out of the 100 on the list of worst place to do business. No doubt, the foregoing pervading norms and mindsets are unquestionably dysfunctional for the nation’s productivity. health and development.

This poor productivity awareness no doubts requires urgent attention. At the NPC, we feel  there is an urgent need for a reinforcement of public-understanding of the concept of productivity. We however also recognize that we cannot do this alone. We need active cooperation and support of our social partners, particularly the press. At the NPC, we recognize the press as an integral part of the productivity crusade.

We believe the press must play an important role in supporting the productivity promotion efforts. It is in this regard we considered the Press and media as a strategic tool to fill the productivity vacuum in the country.

To do this therefore, We implore the press to become a source of information for shaping public opinion and become the productivity spokesman of the people. As the watchdog of the society, you owe it a duty to create the needed productivity awareness amongst the populace. This may be in terms of reporting, as well as the content of your news.”

Award to deserving  Nigerians
While inaugurating  the Productivity Order of     Merit Award   Committee, labour minister,  Prince Adetokunbo  Kayode said for Nigeria to attain her goal of becoming one of the largest economies by 2020, “ productivity improvement at all  the sectoral levels  occupies a prime position”.

Throwing more light on the  objective of the award, he said,  it is “to recognize  and honour at the national level  the most productive organizations and individuals in  Nigeria  in the year  of the award for achievement made in the three preceding years”.

Apart from this, the award  is to “ instutionalise  productivity consciousness and excellence  in service among workers and organizations  in  both public and private sectors of Nigeria , emphasizing hard work, high performance, efficiency, discipline, dedication, humility, patriotism and selfless service”.

It is also  to “ ensure  a high level of effectiveness and efficiency in  the implementation  of public policies and programmes of various public services”.

The National Productivity Centre’s director-general, Dr. Paul  Bdliya  explained “ at the individual level,  the award seeks to reward virtues of hard work, reliability, innovativeness, creativity and contributions  to communities and organizations.

At the corporate level,  it seeks to acknowledge organizations that are self reliant in their adaptation and application of technology in order to guarantee  for themselves  cause effective operations and productive efficiency”.

According to Dr. Bdliya, it also  “ recognizes companies  which show a trend for sustained increases of the years in such vital areas  as local sourcing of raw materials, capacity utilization, sales turnover, employment generation, employee  welfare scheme and training facilities”.  Who is qualified?  “   All   Nigerians  resident in Nigeria and all organizations operating  in Nigeria are eligible for the award”.

Prince Kayode said, “ To match the  award with honour, dignity and the respect it richly deserves, the maximum number of awards  for each year shall be 15 individuals while organizations shall be five.  All awardees shall be accorded the same rights and priviledges as are applicable to other national awards”.

The chairman of the merit award committee,  Chief Arohunmolase   Bailey  who promised that  his committee would live up to expectation  acknowledged that “ no meaningful  programme  for raising the level  of the standard of living  of the people can yield fruitful dividend without significant improvement  in the productivity of all sectors of the economy”.

He said “ a way of ensuring  that realization of our dream of a productive society  is the putting in place of adequate motivation and reward system”.


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.