The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has called for necessary assistance and support from the three tiers of government toward the growth and survival of businesses, especially the informal sector.
Its Director-General, Mr Timothy Olawale, made the call on Thursday in Lagos in commemoration of the Workers’ Day celebration, marked annually on May 1.
Olawale said that the informal sector has the largest number of entrepreneurs who create employment for Nigerians.
According to him, the sector also aids the operations of the formal sector through various value chains to ensure that youths are engaged and not involved in crimes or social vices, among others.
“Governments should take decisive action on concerns of the informal sector and ensure intervention in areas such as regular and adequate electricity supply.
“Others include access to loans and funds for their business operations; security of lives and property; creation of an enabling environment for businesses to thrive and multiple or over-regulation and taxation,” he said.
The director-general also called for a more co-ordinated strategy in salvaging jobs and enterprise in the wake of the possible job losses.
According to him, if businesses do not survive the effect of COVID-19 within the shortest period, it can result in massive jobs loss in the country.
“Governments should take decisive action on stimulus packages and supports to businesses.
“NECA expects governments to engage the social partners and strategise on measures to prevent impending jobs losses during and post COVID-19.
“These measures can include governments’ direct intervention on direct wage or income support, wage subsidies, tax credits or tax deferrals, short-term work schemes and moratoriums on loan payments by organisations,” Olawale said.
The NECA boss congratulated the Nigerian workers and commended the labour movement, is a social partner and a worthy party in the workplace in all sectors.
“We commend the leadership of the National Labour Congress in Nigeria and all leaders in the various sectoral unions.
“We also want to place on record, our commendation of all Nigerian workers in the health sector and the various chains for their roles in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria,” he said.