6th Foundation Day Lecture; How National Productivity Centre Is Canvassing Teamwork Towards A Productive Nation.

Director General & CEO National Productivity Centre (NPC), under an erudite scholar, Dr. Kashim Akor
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It was another opportunity for the leadership of the National Productivity Centre (NPC) to showcase its efforts towards reiterating more efforts to configure the psyche of a productive society, through efforts to think productivity for economic growth and development in Nigeria.

Therefore, the 6th-day foundation lecture was held on 29th, November 2021 at Nigerian National Merit Award House in Abuja with the presence of Who’s is Who in the country, throwing their weight behind the auspicious occasion.

The yearly event was declared open by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Dr. Chris Nwabueze Ngige, including the Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, and the Chairman Governing Council of NPC, Eyo NSA Ekpo, while the guest speaker, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Social Investment Program NSIP who also presented papers at the occasion aimed at galvanizing productivity in all spheres in Nigeria.

The theme of the foundation day lecture tagged, “Productivity Paradox; Creating The Pathway of Growth and Development” was coming at a time when Nigeria is going through the unabated global health emergency of COVID that led to total lockdown, both at its Delta variant, waves amidst administration of series of products of vaccines by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency NPHCDA piloted by the Federal Ministry of Health In Nigeria.

It was also coinciding with other variables like recurring world economic recession, unemployment rates, job losses, insecurity, economic hardship, and climate change that had occasioned the need to think about productivity in all ramifications.

The yearly event which attracted many speakers for the 2022 program, included many lecturers that spoke extensively on the burning issue and topic for the occasion.

Labour and Employment Minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry used the occasion to reel out various development plans stating that the essence and advantages associated with productivity are the enhancement of national productivity levels, as well as celebrating the productivity movement in Nigeria that was dated back to 1978.

According to the Minster, the occasion had further given the sole aim to educate Nigerians on the productivity movements across the world visa vis the Nigeria experience, as well as stimulate a national discourse, hence the need for Nigerians to develop a productive mindset across all sectors and works of life.

The Labour and Employment Minister, while referring to the topic, reeled out the history of the National development plans in Nigeria in the last six decades spanned from 1962-1968, 1970-1974, during the civil war, 1975-1980 during the oil boom, with 1981-1985 heralded the economic policy of Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) of Babangida’s military administration.

From 1990- 2003, there was the National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy, NEEDS, 2003-2007 of President Obasanjo’s administration alongside SEEDS and LEEDS with vision 20:2020.

Others are the seven-point agenda (7) of President Yar’Adua’s term, the Transformation agenda 2011-2015 of President Jonathan, the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan(ERGP), 2017-2020 of the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari down to the immediate Medium Term National Development Plan (MTNDP) 2021-2025, stating that to close the gaps and plans for a successful productivity environment, the need to mainstream productivity to every plan that would guarantee growth and development is non-negotiable.

He said the essence of measurement of a thriving economic environment and development remained productivity, hence effective and efficient utilization of available resources at one’s disposal to the overall well-being of Nigerians and her citizens revolved around productivity improvement drives.

Therefore, Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of governments in line with the clamor of the National Productivity Centre NPC was committed to the creation of jobs/employment opportunities, social security, occupational safety, and industrial peace based on collective bargaining leading to the enhancement of productivity across all sectors of the economy.

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He commended the roles of the National Productivity Organisation (NPO) for its adjustment to the current realities and said the National Productivity Centre NPC had adjusted in that regard, as it continues its strides towards part of improvement.

“Building an economically viable nation requires attitudinal changes and behavioral modifications by all of us being pioneered by NPC in Nigeria to achieve a chunk part of productivity.”

The existence of NPC in Nigeria was in line with the strategic move to improve the competitiveness and economic strength of Nigeria, hence the huge expectations of government and Nigerians cannot be overstated.”

It, therefore, behooves on government the need not only to improve the capacity building, but also to review the National Policy on Productivity, NPP, fund core programs of the center such as the foundation day, and the National Productivity Order of Merit Award, which is already carried out in the current dispensation.

Senator Ngige underscored the need to play crucial roles in macro-economic and structural changes, aid technological changes adaptation, invest more in research and development, and improved infrastructure, education, and training needed for improvement in the national level of productivity.

The Director General of the center, Dr. Kashim Akor who was the chief host of the occasion hinged his address on 20 key points of impacting productivity on the citizenry, stating that, the convening of NPC through Decree 7, 1987 and now NPC Act (CAP) 70 of 2004, stated that aside history, the need to improve productivity, its benefits, and growth, development and competitiveness both locally and globally.

He presented in his paper, that the core mandate of the center is centered on stimulating productivity consciousness, determining productivity levels, monitoring productivity trends, promoting and leading productivity movement in the country towards the attainment of higher level productivity in all sectors of the economy, to enhance the living standards of the people, said the center had pursued the mandate vigorously.

He mentioned some key interventions including developing a productivity mindset and institutionalizing a productivity culture in the citizenry, through productivity awareness campaign (PAC), advocacy and capacity building.

Research in strategic productivity areas for enhancing productivity, competitiveness, and economic growth, promoting human resource development for building a knowledge-based society through productivity and promotion of organizational excellence, and best practices to enhance profitability and growth through the installation of productivity and quality improvement programs (P and QIP.)

Others are promoting the application, and adoption of cutting-edge productivity improvement techniques and tools for productivity enhancement, and Annual productivity statistics, containing sectoral productivity indices, to guide national planning and private sector investment among others. strengthening SMEs through productivity and quality investment and Networking and partnering with NPO institutions locally and globally for a nationally focused development.

Despite the consequences of the global pandemic, the unrelenting management of the center had recorded some success stories, beginning with the Development of strategic plans spanned two five-year strategic plans were drawn in the last six years, with the second one from 2016-2020, 2021-2025, this is to provide a framework, redefining the overall strategy for the center, refocus its programs and it’s activities as well as realigning its resources for optimal performance.

Productivity and quality improvement programs (P and QIP) is a quality improvement program designed to positively affect changes in organizations, it identifies problems and profers solutions, jointly implemented by the center and affected organization staff.

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Six years after, twenty organizations benefitted, as the program had boosted their profitability, competitiveness, and improved productivity.

Thirdly, the productivity index guides investment decisions and policy planning, with the center’s data continuously updated to meet the current trend, with labor productivity 2010-2016 produced and published, 2017, 2018, was rolled out, except 4th quarter, computation of Labour productivity statistics for seven years 2012-2019 was carried out, including a survey on citizens satisfaction on conducts and services provided by NRC among other sectors in collaboration with NBS.

Meeting with the core objectives of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of government through ‘investing in our people several capacity-building programs, comprising plant training, Seminars, and workshops were hosted.

capacity-building workshops by COVID requirements through webinars, and zoom presentations enabled continuity despite the challenges.

The center also developed productivity awareness within six years to instill in public servants the culture of productivity in MDAs, collaborate with MDA through the HOS office, for weekly lectures on Productivity to MDA, and followed the latter.

The center has sensitized over 200 MDAs both within and in the states across Nigeria, as the lectures are ongoing and have been received with enthusiasm by public workers.

A robust productivity awareness creation framework using integrated marketing communication that involved all media of communication was put in place.
It included jingles, in major languages and pidgin periodically on Radio and TV, talk shows, interviews, spotlights, and documentaries.

Coaching and mentoring were also adopted to catch them young through schools program. Designed for secondary schools meant to inculcate productivity culture early in their lives. This is done through the instruments of formation of productivity clubs, academic Quiz competitions, and lectures on productivity tools and techniques, as the center had garnered 67 such clubs across the country.

The NYSC is not also left out in the scheme of things to enhance productivity, hence lectures on productivity, tools, equipment, and techniques are delivered at orientation camps at NYSC.

Research and surveys are ongoing in several areas aimed to build and promote performance-based culture in Nigeria’s public service, assisting the government in taking decisions to ensure service enhancement, monitoring, budgeting, performance assessment, and evaluating the impact of infrastructure and SMEs in Nigeria.

This is geared towards socio-economic growth and the center’s mandate through productivity improvement as materials from such exercises are circulated and disseminated to various stakeholders in the economy.

Observation of the National Productivity Day (NPD) meant to the sensitive citizenry and deserving productive Nigerians and organizations, it had been successfully held in 2015, 2017, 2018, and 2019.

It was celebrated nationwide, with award lectures, an exhibition of made-in-Nigeria products, and a conferement of the National Productivity Order of Merit by the President and State Governors at state levels.

66 Nigerians had been conferred of recent between 2015-2019, 19 organizations, 2018, 2019 edition was personally conferred by President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, with a warm reception at the Villa for 2019 recipients.

Other achievements are strategic partnerships with NPOs, and international Development partners, to build capacity and facilitate economic growth.

The organizations are Japan productivity center, Asian productivity organization, Pan African Productivity Association PAPA, Malaysia Productivity Corporation, and Productivity South Africa among many others.

The center had trained many staffs as international consultants, with no cost to the Nigerian government, and the officers had impacted relevant knowledge in MSMEs and capacity building.

Staff training for members of staff of NPC is a recurring and routine activity, including the inception of National productivity quality training, which came into being in 2017, with the assistance of UNIDO, to ensure improved quality of made-in-Nigeria products, training, and awareness.

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With international recognition and accreditation by the chartered quality institute CQI, International Register Certificate Auditors IRCA of UK June 2018, and currently developing a curriculum for the training of students of corporate bodies, for certification by the international organization for standardization (ISO) management in its system service consisting of: Quality Management System( 1SO 9001-2015)
Environmental Management System (ISO 14001;2015) and Food Safety Management System ( ISO 2200;2005).

The center generated funds through fees, training programs, and productivity improvement techniques. It recently won an award of excellence by the UNIDO under its Nigeria National Quality Award Scheme.

The center has trained over 1,200 productivity practitioners had prepared them for future challenges both at Ministries, Departments, and Agencies as well as principals of secondary schools in Kogi State.

With Nigeria productivity journal with its maiden edition published in 2017, was geared towards distributing productivity knowledge, along with several publications rolled out to justify the mandate of the center towards institutionalizing productivity knowledge in the psyche of Nigerians, within the period under review along with 16 publications.

Staff welfare, and promotion when due to motivating them for higher productivity had been on the front burner, and also exposed to various short-term courses and programs.

The center established state offices to bring its operations to the doorsteps of many Nigerians, Lokoja and Porthacourt came on stream bringing state offices to (14), while Osogbo, Osun State will follow soon.

The leadership of the center built inter-personal relationships and teamwork to move the activities of the center forward, thereby ensuring industrial peace and harmony, as the DG NPC, Dr. Kashim Akor was rewarded with giant strides by an award from the staff of the center in 2017.

The center acquired four vehicles in less than three years, with necessary working tools, computers, printers, and internet services to enhance the productivity of workers. Another new set of vehicles was recently acquired.

Under the leadership of Dr. Kashim Akor, the current Director General/CEO, National Productivity Centre NPC, the relationship between the center, and the public and private organizations had blossomed beyond imagination including the formal sector.

NPC is now an active member of NASME, NACCIMA, and NECA. The center also partners with National Salaries, Incomes, and Wages Commission to provide input in the determination of the National Minimum Wage.

Its representation in international organizations had been unwavering and rewarding, as recently the Director General who was representing Nigeria was elected on the Board of Pan African Productivity Association (PAPA), as well as African Regional Labour Administration Centre (ARLAC), with a letter of commendation issued to the DG NPC.

Above all, the commendation and good wishes, the desire to consolidate the above success programs of the DG NPC, will make productivity not only a household in the world in Nigeria but a hub of both social and economic security for all Nigerians.

This will be carried out through more commitment and determination to continue to achieve result-oriented programs and policies, that will continue to serve as a model in the realization of set objectives toward the attainment of higher levels of productivity in all sectors of Nigeria’s economy, and promoting international cooperation and recognition for enhancement of National Productivity.

With the giant performance and achievements, no doubt 2021, the 6th Foundation Day Lecture of the National Productivity Centre (NPC), under an erudite scholar, Dr. Kashim Akor was a worthwhile and desired continuity.

Yusuf Writes From Abuja, All inquiries to yus.abubakar3@gmail.com.

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