The Federal Government has called for creative value chain entrepreneurship to boost job creation in the country.
Minister for Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, made the call at the 5th Meeting of the National Employment Council, in Abuja.
Ngige, represented by Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr Yerima Peter Tarfa, noted that a lot of jobs could be generated across the value chain, from the raw material stage through the finished product to the consumer.
“The raw minerals being exported from the country are used to produce consumer and industrial goods in advanced countries that we import at much higher prices.
“By not adding value to our mineral and agricultural products, Nigeria has been unwittingly exporting wealth and millions of jobs. We must halt and begin to reverse this dangerous trend.”
Ngige stated that based on the Council’s Work Plan, the meeting would deliberate on the topic, “Sectorial Value Chains and Employment Generation in Nigeria”.
He disclosed that the following Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA) of government would make presentations at the meeting for Council’s consideration – Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), and Nigeria Institute for Social and Economic Research (NISER).
“Today’s meeting shall deliberate on what these MDAs are doing in evolving strategies and innovative ideas for upgrading various segments of the value chain to increase production and create value addition across the most profitable areas of the value chain with trickle-down effect to other sectors of the Nigerian economy.”
Agriculture and mining being critical sectors in the diversification of economy policy of Government, the Minister called for a move from exportation of raw materials to that of consumer goods at much higher prices.
He added that “while we focus on agricultural production, greater attention must also be devoted to enhancing value addition across the value chain.”
Ngige further said that “this meeting is expected to come up with innovative ideas that will facilitate mining and processing of all commercially viable solid minerals, so as to create wealth and jobs for the teeming unemployed.”
Speaking earlier, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Dr Yerima Peter Tarfa, stated that value chain entrepreneurs drive the economy by creating continuous streams of wealth and jobs through investments in several sectors of the economy.
Represented by Director, Employment and Wages in the Ministry, John Audu Nyamali, he stated that the Meeting would focus on “how to deepen value addition through the various value chains cutting across agricultural, solid mineral and tourism sectors, so as to reposition them as the engine of growth and labour-absorbing sponge.”