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Cross Section of Dignitaries at the 7th FDL by National Productivity Centre.
The Foundation Day Lecture (FDL) is one of the core programmes of the National Productivity Centre designed to bring the issue of productivity to a wider national focus through sharing experience of other nations in their efforts towards higher productivity. This is with a desire to reawaken productivity consciousness of the citizenry.
Essentially the lecture celebrates the productivity movement in Nigeria, which dates back to 1978. It is also designed to tap from the knowledge of other nations so that Nigeria can be enriched in her knowledge and practice of the productivity concept.
Participants and discussants are drawn from the academic and research institutions, the diplomatic corps, public services, industries as well as the informal sector of the Nigerian economy.
The overall objective of the programme is to educate Nigerians on productivity movements in various parts of the world and to generate a national discourse that will stimulate the development of a productivity mind-set among all Nigerians.
Other objectives include:
- To create national consciousness towards a sustainable productivity-driven economy.
- To highlight the importance of labour in the process of enhancing national output, higher performance, growth and sustainable development.
- To deliberate on strategies necessary for promoting productivityin the country.
7th Foundation Day Lecture (FDL)
By Blessing Salifu
This report covers the following parts:
- Executive Summary
- Summary of opening remarks
- Guest Speaker
- Discussion Session
- Good will Messages
- Summary & Recommendations.
- EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The 7th Foundation Day Lecture (FDL) organized by National Productivity Centre (NPC), was held on 28th March, 2023 at Nigerian National Merit Award House, Maitama, FCT, Abuja. The FDL has Arc. Yusuf Kazaurefniafncs, chairman Nigeria Satellite Communications Ltd(NIGCOMSAT) as its guest Speaker.
The theme of this year’s FDL: PRODUCTIVITY IMPROVEMENT IN A DEVELOPING ECONOMY; THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT) APPROACH.
- SUMMARY OF OPENING REMARKS AT THE FDL
The Director General, National Productivity Centre, Dr KashimAkor, in his welcome address noted that the programmes of the centre have been enriched and stepped up to ensure that the centre not only actualize its mandate but properly key into the nation’s developmental objectives.
-He said productivity has remained a key factor that enables society to generate value added through efficient and effective use of available resources.
_ The DG highlighted some of the mandates of the National Productivity Centre as follows;
The overall mandate of the National productivity centre is to simulate and promote productivity consciousness in all sectors of the Nigerian economy. The ultimate aim is to generate visible improvement in the quantity and quality of services rendered, and goods produced and promoting organizational excellence and best practices to enhance profitability and growth through the installation of productivity improvement programmes.
According to the Director General, the FDL is specifically designed to achieve the following;
- To create national consciousness towards a sustainable productivity movement in Nigeria
- To deliberate on strategies necessary for promoting productivity in the economy
- To highlight the cardinality of labour in the productivity process and how it can be mobilized to perform more effectively and;
- To share the experiences of other nations in their endeavour for higher productivity.
In conclusion, the Director General noted that despite the inadequate funding, lack of permanent office accommodation both at the headquarters and states, lack of modern furniture and other office equipment facilities, the centre has continued to serve as catalyst for economic growth and development of the various sectors of the economy and adding value to the products and services of other organizations.He therefore called on the organized private sector, states and local governments as well as well-meaning individuals to come to the aid of the centre in the area of sponsorship of some of the centre’s programmes; like the productivity promotion and Advocacy and donation of office accommodation.
Chairman’s Opening Remark
The FDL Chairman, Barr. Eyo Nsa Ekpo, chairman of the governing council, national productivity centre, in his opening remark affirmed that productivity is acknowledged globally as crucial to a county’s competiveness and its integration into the global economy. He said that the application of the concept of productivity is of great benefit to businesses whether small, medium or big, individuals in all works of life.
The chairman noted that as long as there is growth, there is need for constant improvement, adding that the National Productivity Centre must be properly empowered because it is the base of foundation of our development as a nation.
He further said that the productivity improvement drive has become a major driving force behind economic development with total reliance on knowledge, creativity, innovation, wealth creation, employment generation and ultimately poverty reduction. Therefore, productivity aligned firmly with the dictates of a knowledge based economy.
In conclusion, the FDL chairman stressed the importance of the lecture theme; ‘Productivity Improvement in a Developing Economy: The Information Technology Approach’, giving the need to unlearn and relearn the process entrenching the true values of productivity in the country.
The Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Dr Chris Nwabueze Ngige, in his keynote address affirmed that the lecture built on past lectures since its inception in 1997 beaming light on the trends and realities of productivity movement across the globe viz a viz our peculiarity and experience as a people. Speaking through his representative, the Minister stated that the lecture creates the opportunity for sensitizing the general public on the very essence and advantages associated with productivity in the enhancement and improvement of our national productivity levels. He further reminded the audience that the productivity movement in Nigeria, dates back to 1978.
- The Minister emphasised the importance of this year’s lecture theme; Productivity in a Developing Economy: ‘The Information Technology Approach’ which is apt to our national reality.
- He stated that the major variable for determining real economic growth and development remains productivity because the effective and efficient utilization of available resources for overall well-being of a country and her citizens all revolves around productivity improvement drives. “It is therefore a fact that productivity can guarantee this nation a better growth rate of national income, per capita income consumption (PCC), physical quality of life (PQLI), and human development index (HDI), Industrial progress and capital formation”.
- The Minister also asserted that information technology has been the brain behind all industrial revolutions of the world and the efficiency and productivity of systems. Adding that processes that were manual and time consuming are now quick and efficient with the use of digital tools, and applications. It is interesting to listen and know how best other societies have deployed information technology to improve productivity in their various economies and learn from their experiences.
- Dr Ngige revealed that at the ministerial level, they are committed to the creation of employment opportunities, social security, occupational safety, industrial peace based on collective bargaining, enhancement of productivity across all sectors of the economy as they have continuously evolved in their policies to see improvement in the labour productivity and ensure stable industrial environment for all.
- The Minister further stated that the present administration has taken various steps to build the capacity of the centre to carry out her mandates well, giving instances of the review of the National policy on productivity, funding of the centres core programmes such as researches, capacity building and productivity measurement amongst others speaks of how important productivity is to the president.
- He congratulated the centre for organizing this year’s lecture, as he is confident that Alhaji Yusuf Kazaure, a well read and travelled intellectual with experience in the field of information technology would share with us his critical knowledge necessary for stimulating the productivity needed in Nigeria. And also provide academic guide to high interactive learning and conversations.
- In conclusion, the minister assured that the ideas and suggestions generated from the lecture and other discussions would be forwarded to the government for immediate implementation.
GOOD WILL MESSAGES
Dr Paul Byila, a former director general of the national productivity centre in his goodwill message commended the guest speaker for the good paper presentation. He said the topic should be close to the heart of the centre in order to guide the youths on how to embrace productivity and enhance their performance.
While commending the centre for organizing the 7th foundation day lecture, he encouraged all to be productivity conscious in the modern world.
The representative of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in his goodwill message salute the National Productivity Centre for this noble idea, saying that the FDL is very significant as productivity is everybody business.
– He also speaks on the importance of the 3 Es (Energy, Economy and Environment), he said Nigeria deserves energy in terms of technological
development and also a secured and conducive environment for productivity to strive.
– There’s need for Nigeria to embrace technology as core value system as it does not have a good record system.
– It is also important to look at the informal sector of the economy so that the traditional system can work together with the new technological system.
The representative of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) in his goodwill message made reference to Rwanda a developing country that has been using ICT to improve healthcare services in the country.
– There is need to improve the IT of every sector of the Nigerian economy in order to give her citizens the right to choose services to subscribe to in terms of health, electricity etc.
The representative of NSITF noted that productivity is key to any nation’s development. Therefore, the need to have a good foundation to involve the youths. While appreciating the centre for being part of this year’s FDL, she expresses optimism that technological advancement of the economy will help improve on the work welfare of workers.
The Director General of the NDE in his speech applauded the revolution of south Korea over the years which is the man focus of the paper presentation.
-He opine that in as much as the NDE is concerned with job creation for Nigerians to be engaged, there is serious need for one to have a skill as jobs are no longer guaranteed by certificates.
– The DG National directorate of employment advised that youths must be ready to learn and be fast about it and it is their responsibility to guide and mentor the youths.
– He pledged their continuous support to NPC.
The Director General MINILS, commended the centre for its efforts and encouraged her not to give up on its mandate. He said productivity adds value and brings team spirit to all organizations.
He also pledged their continuous support to the centre.
The representative of the corp members, ObasuyiOladunni, appreciated the centre for giving them the privilege to partake in the FDL, as it has given them an insight on the IT approach to the economy which will lead them to a better place in the country.
FDL LECTURE: PRODUCTIVITY IMPROVEMENT IN A DEVELOPING ECONOMY; THE IT APPROACH
The FDL lecture was presented by Arc. Yusuf Kazaure, chairman Nigeria Satellite Communications Ltd (NIGCOMSAT) who said developing economies often face numerous challenges that can hinder productivity growth. He pointed out that ICT if adopted properly can mitigate the problems we are facing today. He also said the world today is driven by information technology which has become an integral part of businesses and governments worldwide, as it has revolutionized the way we work, communicate and do business.
Giving a background to his paper presentation, Arc. Yusuf noted that the emergence of Covid-19has accelerated the growth of ICT to improve productivity in the era of lockdowns as organisations had to develop attitude of “working from anywhere”. And the ability to adopt to this or lack of it further expanded the digital divide.
The guest speaker stated that the 4th industrial revolution; the evolution of man has always been his desire to conquer the world around him, starting from the stone age to transforming materials, energy and information. He said the unprecedented speed of change precipitated by the fourth industrial revolution is expected to bring more advancements in the next 10 years than in the last 250 years combined.
He noted that Africa will be experiencing unprecedented demographic changes, as the continent is projected to expand the size of its workforce by more than the rest of the world combined, as its young population enters the world of work. He buttressed his argument by pointing out that the world economic forum estimates that 15 to 20 million young people will join the African workforce every year for the next two decades.
The presenter highlighted the characteristics of a developing economies which include;
Low levels of capital and technology,
Low human capital, and
Limited access to infrastructure and markets
He however advised that information technology can help overcome these challenges and boost productivity in various ways because productivity improvement is essential for economic growth and development. Higher productivity leads to increased output, which can translate into higher incomes and a higher standard of living, improved productivity can also result in cost savings, as less resources are needed to produce the same output. He said in a developing economy where resources may be scarce, productivity improvement can be a key driver of progress. He said adoption to Information technology can enable the collection and analysis of data, leading to better decision-making and optimization of operations.
In developing economies, according to the presenter, the adoption of information technology can have a significant impact on the productivity growth by reducing manual processes, improving communication and collaboration. By enabling remote work, businesses can increase efficiency and competitiveness and this can lead to improved customer satisfaction, increased innovation and growth.
The presenter gave examples of countries like India, Kenya, Rwanda and South Korea, that have used ICT to improve productivity, countries like India that has a thriving software and services industry, and their government investing heavily in digital infrastructure.
He further revealed that Kenya has been using ICT to drive productivity growth in its agricultural sector, launching several initiatives, such as the Kenyan Agricultural Productivity Project (KAPAP), which is aimed at improving productivity and market access for small-scale farmers through the use of ICT and M-PESA, a mobile phone based money transfer service that has revolutionized financial transactions in Kenya.
He also revealed that Rwanda a developing country has been using ICT to improve healthcare services in the country with the launch of several initiatives to promote the adoption of digital technologies in businesses as well as digital payments and e-commerce. Brazil has also invested in digital infrastructure in broadband and fibre-optic networks and technology parks for innovation and collaboration between businesses and research institutions.
The presenter further affirmed that the main focus of the paper was on South Korea who had gone through numerous crisis in its history ranging from Japanese colonization to the devastating Korean war, poverty and backward social infrastructure. As the Republic of Korean emerged from the Korean war in the mid-1950s, they were one of the world’s poorest economies, but through few decades of government interventions and investment in modern technology, the country had soared to become one of the most developed countries.He highlighted the three major factors that form the basis for growth of a country’s digital economy: “the advanced education system, cultural characteristics, and the government’s vision for ICT”.
He pointed out that South Korea is known for its strong focus on leveraging information and communication technology (ICT) to drive productivity and innovation, as they have made significant investments in ICT infrastructure, digital government services, innovation, education and workforce development to improve national productivity.
Arc. Yusuf Kazaure, however noted that Nigeria is making a lot of progress in information technology as the ministry of communication and digital economy has developed and outlined eight (8) pillars to accelerate the development of the Nigerian digital economy. They are;
- Developmental Regulation
- Digital Literacy and skills
- Solid Infrastructure
- Service Infrastructure
- Soft Infrastructure
- Digital Service development and promotion
- Digital society and emerging technologies and
- Indigenous content promotion and adoption
He further stated that the information technology sector has had significant impact on Nigeria’s productivity in recent years and these impact can be observed in:
- Increased efficiency
- Access to market
- Job creation
- Improved infrastructure
The presenter opined impact of digital economy on Nigeria’s productivity has been positive as it has produced 5 out of 7 unicorns in Africa Flutterwave Opay and Andela- joining interswitch and Jumia. According to the national bureau of statistics (NBS), the ICT sector contributed 16.51% to Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022 which represent a significant increase from the 10.1% contributed in 2016, the presenter further revealed
Discussant: Dr. Gbenga Bamiduro, former Director Planning and Policy Analysis Department, National Productivity Centre.
- The discussant observed that the Introduction discussed the challenges hindering growth of developing economies and opined that adoption of ICT can lead to significant improvement and Productivity. He disclosed that there are Manu sectors that will further compound the challenges of developing economies.
- As a background to the presentation, the discussant noted that the speaker stated that Covid-19 has accelerated the use of IT to improve productivity as a result of the lockdown.
- The paper also dwelt on the 4th industrial revolution which is expected to bring about more advancement in the next 10 years than in the last 250 years. He further stated that Africa will experience unprecedented demographic changes with Africa housing more than a quarter of the world’s population of citizens less than 25 years.
- In discussing developing economics, he listed some of their critics to include: low levels of capital and technology, low human capita and limited access to infrastructure and markets.
The Nigerian Context
The discussant admits that the country has made giant strides no doubt, but disagreed with the renaming of the ministry as Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy. This he said is because of experiences with former ECN, NEPA, (Never Expect Power Always). Power Holding Corporation of Nigeria (PHCN).
The impact of IT sector on productivity such as increased efficiency, job creation, and access to markets, innovation and improved infrastructure.
The discussant admitted that ICT sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in Nigeria with a significant impact on the nation’s productivity.
The discussant however, noted that adoption of IT also pose a threat to businesses as they are exposed to risks such as data breaches and loss of productivity hence there is need for proper training, infrastructure and cyber security measures fear of potential job displacement.
The following were recommendations made at the end of the Foundation Day Lecture;
- For Nigeria to succeed in such a rapidly shifting landscape, the government and its citizens must be able to adopt and explore new digital technologies that will transform government practices, business models, and society in general.
- The Nigerian economy must be assessed by observing its performance in three areas which are factors essential for promoting digital transformation. These are: knowledge, Technology and future readiness.
- That government plays a key role in promoting the adoption of information technology, therefore, it must provide enabling infrastructure investments, education and training, and providing supportive regulatory frameworks.
- That Information technology requires capacity building, infrastructure and cybersecurity measures. Without these, businesses can face significant risks such as data breaches and loss of productivity. It is therefore essential to ensure that technology adoption is accompanied by a proper framework to mitigate these risks.
- In conclusion, the adoption of information technology can be a driving force for developing economies in terms of productivity growth and competitiveness. With the right approach and framework, Nigeria can unlock the full potential of technology and drive growth and prosperity.
- With the right approach, information technology can be a game changer for developing economies, leading to increased productivity, growth and prosperity.
VOTE OF THANKS
Mallam Hassan Abdullahi, Director/HOD Corporate Affairs and Information Department of the centre thanked the guest speaker for his apt presentation. He also appreciated the Director General for his support towards the success of the program and Dr, Paul Byila, a former DG of the centre for his support in ensuring that there is continuous improvement in the centre. The Director also expressed gratitude to other participants who took time out of their tight schedule to attend the Lecture. He also appreciated members of staff of Corporate Affairs and Information department for putting in their best to the success of the Day.
Above all he thanked God for seeing the Day through.
He finally thanked all invited guests, social partners and staff of the centre for their support and participation in the program which made it a huge success.