~ Urges inter-ministerial collaboration on policy intervention for business development
Hon. Engr. Chris Emeka Azubogu has reiterated his earlier call for the evolution of new economic strategies that will be private sector driven – with capacity to create jobs.
The lawmaker who reinforced the call while speaking during the weekend on National Television Authority (NTA) network programme, ‘Political Update’ under the topic, ‘Economic Recovery as Lockdown Eases’ emphasized that striving to create jobs should be a matter of urgency, especially now that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown many out of jobs.
With likelihood of many more being out of job staring us in the face, Engr. Azubogu, who represents Nnewi North, Nnewi South and Ekwusigo federal constituency in the Green Chamber, stressed that activating policies that will create active business environments that encourages job creation by the private sector is the way to go.
“Our various ministries, especially Science and Technology, Industry, Trade and Investment, etc must explore all opportunities that will ignite local production of things that we have comparative advantages in” he said.
Azubogu, whose call and effort towards industrialization has remained consistent over the years, noted that in the face of infrastructural deficit in Nigeria, we should develop and adopt cluster approach in our industrialization drive where the government concentrates her limited infrastructure within planned business/industrial clusters.
In his words, “in the face of infrastructural deficit, we have to create Hubs and Manufacturing Centres replete with infrastructural facilities needed for production activities; as well as evolve business friendly policies that will include business growth fiscal policies. The target should be to achieve competitive outputs that will have space in the market share within Nigeria and beyond and ultimately end up expanding jobs”
The Anambra born federal lawmaker who goes by the sobriquet, ‘MR. PROJECT’ stated that without a skilled workforce, industrialization will be difficult in any society and thus remain a mirage.
“There is no shortcut to industrialization; all blocks that drive businesses must put in place a skilled labour force. We have to, as a matter of deliberate policy, focus on training our manpower with new skills needed by industries” he said.
Azubogu advocated the review of Nigeria’s current education curriculum in a manner that will truly make schools recruitment platforms for industries. Hear him:
“Every Manufacturer or producer is interested on who is his or her off-takers that will buy their outputs.
How many industries today confidently source their staff from fresh graduates produced by our higher institutions? We have to connect the manpower needs of our industries to our school curriculum so that schools can produce a labour force in line with their needs.
The post COVID-19 economy will be skill (and not certificate) driven; and the time to refocus training of our manpower on skills is now” he said.
Azubogu, who is an ICT expert, is also of the view that the post COVID-19 economy calls for tech infrastructure to expand and help businesses grow.
“We are already at a point that we cannot avoid paying special attention towards investing on Tech Infrastructure that will drive new businesses” he said.
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) hold the key to job creation and they need all the support they could get from government; starting from funding to business-friendly policies that will drive business activities.
“Our focus going forward should be how to find jobs for our people” he concluded.