By Tayo Joseph, Lagos
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma has challenged the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPMN) to develop templates and modules of capacity development that can improve the productivity of the Nigerian workforce.
The Minister who delivered a keynote address at the 49th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Institute in Abuja on Tuesday evening, noted that enhanced capacity of the workforce and the resultant improvement in productivity can contribute significantly to improvement in national output.
“As the foremost personnel management institution in the country, managing people is what your members do. I challenge you, individually and collectively, to develop templates and modules of capacity development that can improve the productivity of our people”, he said.
Senator Udoma who spoke on the topic: “The Nigerian Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), 2017-2020: People as a Critical Success Factor”, said the whole essence of the ERGP is to achieve a massive and sustained increase in national output.
While noting that as personnel managers their job is to develop management schemes that improve the productivity of their workforce, the Minister challenged members of the Institute to bring their expert personnel management skills to bear on the nation’s low productivity levels, as he pointed out that the greatest wealth of a nation is not in its natural resources, but its human resources.
Drawing their attention to the ERGP, the Minister said that it is a Plan that will drive Nigeria on to a path of sustained, diversified and inclusive growth; a Plan that will change the country in a fundamental way.
“As President Muhammadu Buhari said, through the implementation of the ERGP, we will make Nigeria a self-reliant country in which ‘we grow what we eat and consume what we make’. We intend to build a country that is an industrial and agricultural power house. A country where poverty is reduced and prosperity enhanced” he explained.
Acknowledging that over the years the CIPMN has strived to positively develop, sustain and transform professional excellence in the Human Resources profession, he urge members to keep up the good work. “As a Government of Change, we are happy to associate with an organization that also sees itself as a change agent”, he added.
Noting the focus of this year’s AGM which is on the three imperatives of innovation, empowerment, and engagement, the Minister hoped that the outcome will produce useful lessons that will further benefit both the government and the people.
He was excited that there are already some good news about the change the country is seeking.“We are already seeing early positive signs that our strategy is working. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) numbers indicate that in the 2nd Quarter of this year we achieved a positive GDP growth of .55%. This means we are now officially out of recession.
“Our inflation rate is gradually and consistently easing up since the beginning of this year; external reserves and Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) have improved following the continuous stabilization of the exchange rate market; and the industrial sector growth has turned positive after recording nine consecutive quarters of contraction.”
He acknowledged however that more work needs to be done to sustain the positive momentum and it will require using the best talents and tapping into the entrepreneurial spirit of Nigerians; an area where the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management, Nigeria (CIPMN), has a role to play.
Also speaking, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, said conducive industrial environment can be enhanced and sustained through consistent dialogue between employers and their employees; and members of CIPM who act as a bridge between the two have a responsibility to keep talking to both parties for the sake of industrial peace and harmony.
The Minister said both the employers and the employees have a symbiotic relationship which, if properly nurtured, could lead to improved productivity and increased output. It is the responsibility of personnel managers to ensure that that relationship is managed for the overall benefit of the system, he pointed out.
The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF), Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, who declared the conference open said the reforms being carried out by her office is to reposition the civil for better productivity and prudent management of resources for the benefit of the system and the overall interest of the Nigerian people.