Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, NECA, has raised the alarm over the consequences of ongoing divestment of multinationals in Nigeria, saying no fewer than 20,000 direct employees have lost their jobs to such divestments in recent times.
The umbrella body for employers and the voice of business in Nigeria raised the alarm in a statement titled “Urgent action to arrest the growing unemployment rate rate”.
NECA warned that the consequences of the massive job losses across sectors would continue to create insecurity challenges, and increase the occurrence of child labour among others.
The statement by its Director-General, Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde said: “We are concerned at the growing rate of unemployment in the country, made worse by the continuous divestment of global businesses and closure of local ones.
“It is worrisome to note that in the last three years, over 15 organisations with a combined value-chain staff strength of over 20,000 employees have either divested or partially closed operations.
“This has dire consequences not only for organized businesses but also for labour, government revenue and the households.”
Expressing the Association’s deep concerns, Mr. Oyerinde warned that “the consequences of this massive job losses across sectors will continue to create insecurity challenges, increase the occurrence of child-labour (as children will be forced to become bread-winners), adversely affect the disposable income of families, erode the purchasing power of individuals and drastically reduce economy’s output.”
While proffering solutions to this malaise, the NECA Director-General urged the Government to urgently address the multi-facet challenges currently being faced by organized businesses.
He noted that “the harsh business environment has made local businesses to be uncompetitive. The government must urgently address regulatory and legislative bottlenecks that tend to stifle businesses rather than promote them.
“Continuous efforts must be made to promote locally-made goods through the provision of critical infrastructures; urgent stabilization of the foreign exchange market and ensuring that Ministries, Departments and Agencies are appraised not only by how much income they generate but also by how many businesses they facilitated or promoted.
“The private sector creates reight out of every 10 jobs and deliberate effort must be made to ensure its sustainability and competitiveness.”