By Gabriel Agbeja
Abuja, – President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Abuja said that the Federal Government would create an enabling environment for higher productivity towards improving all sectors of national economy.
Buhari, who was represented by Mr Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, made this known at the 18th National Productivity Day (NPD), organised by the National Productivity Centre.
He said that government would achieve the feat via political will and commitment to improving on infrastructure nationwide to further encourage entrepreneurs.
“We will give significant attention to productivity in order to improve standard of living. Nigeria economy can be improved through dedication, hard work, self -reliance and determination, among others.
“ Productivity is crucial to greater development. We will intensify efforts in advancing security, fighting corruption and improving national economy.
“The government is conscious of the critical place of productivity in the realisation of the next level agenda; clearly, no nation can be self-reliant and competitive in the international market without productivity improvement in all its economic sector,” he said.
The president urged all awardees to double their efforts to support the nation, adding that “to whom much is given, much is expected.”
Dr Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, in his remarks, said that the aim of the event was to stimulate healthy competition for higher productivity among individual workers and organisations.
According to him, such rewards will improve the standard of dedication of Nigerians towards their overall living conditions.
“Since inception of this administration, plans have been focused on restoring growth, investing in our people and building a competitive economy,” he said.
Ngige said that the decision of government to observe NPD every year was predicated on the need to stimulate productivity consciousness and reward innovation, creativity and hard work among Nigerians.
He listed objectives of the NPD to include building and encouraging spirit of entrepreneurship and self-reliance and identifying and rewarding the most productive workers and organisations in both public and private sectors of the economy.
“NPD will also institutionalise productivity consciousness and excellence in service among workers and organisations in both public and private sectors in Nigeria, emphasising hard-work, high performance, efficiency, discipline, dedication, humility and patriotism,” he said.
Prof. Mike Obadan, the Guest Speaker, who spoke on “ Productivity for National Re-Engineering, Security and Growth in Nigeria”, said that the country’s productivity ought to compete favourably with those of its peer group or even the advanced countries.
According to him, this has not been so, “yet the potential to realise high productivity is there. Since productivity is a veritable source of economic growth, it should be adequately enabled in the country.
“This means providing a conducive environment for sizable investment in both human and physical capital, and research and innovations.
“Nigeria should take a cue from the developed countries and invest more in research and development activities in order to realise technological development,” he said.
According to him, there is need to improve governance and develop a winning strategy to deal with menacing phenomenon of insurgency and insecurity in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Dr Oba Otudeko, Mr Tony Elumelu and Mr John Momoh were among the awardees.