Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo State, has called for better economic policies that will improve the nation’s labour force.
Obaseki made the call on Wednesday at a two-day Human Capital Development regional conference attended by government officials among other stakeholders of South South geopolitical zones in Benin City.
The governor stressed that good economic policies are key to creating competitive jobs, incentives and if such is not put in place, migration and scams will continue to thrive in the country.
“For the labour force, the issue for us is that we can do all we can as a state but that is one area where unfortunately, we need a responsible nationally managed economy because it is our national economy policies that create the work,” Obaseki said.
“If we continue to spend $40bn a year buying goods and services that we can make for ourselves that means we have taken $40bn worth of work abroad. So, the labour market we are now talking about is for menial labor.
“The bulk of jobs come from manufacturing and then agriculture. We spend $500million a year importing milk and milk-based products into Nigeria as if it is made from factories and not cows. So, we must begin to think about how to change our economic policies.”
Earlier, Yosola Akinbi, coordinator of the Core Working Group on Human Capital Development(HCD), who said the programme focuses on health and nutrition, education and labour force participation, called for synergy among stakeholders in increasing the productivity level of every Nigerian child.
Akinbi explained that the conference was set up to ensure all states across the south south region commit to accelerating human capital development in Nigeria.
“We had representatives of the south south and they have all made a commitment to critical policy recommendations that they are taking back to their excellencies that we will work on to make sure Nigeria moves forward in terms of human capital development.
“The challenges are that the child should be healthy right from birth, and the brain capacity is bold enough. And when the child grows enough to be able to join the workforce, that child is productive,” Akinbi said.