National Bureau of Statistics say 18,919 Jobs have gone in Six Months!

National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) – Some 18,919 persons lost their
jobs in the public sector  between October 2015 and March 2016, the
National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said.

About 10,155 were sacked in the federal, state and local
governments between last October and December; 8,764 others were fired
between January and March.

The Bureau, which reported a decline of 84.1 per cent in employment
generation, against the figure in the last quarter of 2015, said only
about 79,469 jobs were generated in the first three months of 2016,
against about 499,521 created during the corresponding period of 2015.

The agency said in its quarterly job creation survey, in collaboration
with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that the figure was reduced by 
420,052.

On jobs created in the first quarter, the Bureau said about 21,477 jobs
came from the formal sector, consisting professional services with less
than 10 employees, while about 60,026 jobs came from the informal
sector, made up of mainly low skill and low-paying blue-collar jobs in
agriculture, light manufacturing, wholesale and retail businesses.

With the recession, analysts said the unemployment situation would
likely worsen, except the government took steps to spend on strategic
capital infrastructure to reflate the economy.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President, Ayuba Wabba, said the
concern of the union was on how the government could create new jobs for
young Nigerians who are  the most-affected by the crisis.

Wabba said the best way forward was for the government to ensure manufacturers continued to access raw materials and produce.

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Most manufacturers, he said, found it difficult to survive. “Many of
them have closed. They cannot afford the cost of raw materials, because
of the difficulty in accessing foreign exchange (FOREX) and the pressure
from the free fall of the Naira,” he said.

He said the government must ensure forex was channelled to manufacturers
to enable them import raw materials. On recession, he said the best way
was for the government to make money available to drive economic
activities.

“The government can also establish modular refineries to ensure money
used for the importation of petroleum products would be saved and used
to develop the economy, by providing the infrastructure required to
drive productive economic activities to create jobs for the people,” he
said.

President, Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Mr Larry
Etta, said declining employment figures in an economy in recession was
not surprising, as firms were closing shop and reducing their workforce
amid declining gross domestic product (GDP) and high inflation.

“Decline in employment is to be expected in a recession. With companies’
profits declining, their retrenchment of workers, and not hiring to
replace them, the figure will keep going down,” he said.

Etta said there was a need for more jobs to be created, adding that the
government ought not to look at itself as the only one to provide jobs.

His words: “How many people can the government employ? Government has to
create the enabling environment that allows industry to thrive.

“This must be an environment that allows industry to create employment.
So, it’s very critical that such an environment is created and it can
only be created  when there is monetary policy stability; when there is
fiscal growth; when there is infrastructural facilities in the country.

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“That environment is also created when there is improvement in security
in the environment itself in which case people have more confidence to
transact business. So those are the things we should be looking for.”

He said both the 2016 budget and spending and the 2017 budget exercise
would have to address the indices of growth, such as fiscal and monetary
policies.

“I would also add a point about the mortality rate. I know lots of
figures have been bandied by various bodies because NACCIMA has given
its own statistics and so has MAN. But one thing is that, whether we
agree with the numbers or not, the signals are clear and the evidence
before our eyes shows that unemployment is increasing, and from what we
heard in the last release from NBS, unemployment has actually increased
significantly,” Etta said.

“It just goes to show that there are lots of works to be done because even among those who are employed, some are underemployed.

“So there are a lot of work to be done. But that work cannot be done by
government alone becuase it has a duty to create an environment that
encourages private sector to become the engine of growth,” Etta said.

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