Secretary to the National Planning Commission, Bassey Akpanyung has assured that the Federal Government is committed to rejuvenating and improving the operations of the informal sector at the national and sub- national levels, including the Niger- Delta Region to speed up economic growth.
Akpanyung gave the assurance Thursday, July 30, 2015 in his address at the opening of a national stakeholders’ validation workshop on the report of the informal sector study conducted in the four SEEFOR participating States of the Niger Delta.
‘’ Let me assure you that the current administration is fully committed to rejuvenating and improving the operations of the informal sector at the national and sub- national levels, including the Niger Delta Region’’.
Akpanyung also said that President Muhammad Buhari has indicated the new Administration’s favourable disposition to invigorating the informal sector for job creation and sustained growth and development of the country.
He disclosed that the federal government is also introducing measures aimed at curbing leakages in the economy and also strengthening the non- oil revenue receipts, taking cognisance of the potentials of the very vibrant informal sector, as well as insisting that the government is equally fine-tuning incentives and strategies for effective credit delivery and other financial services to the sector.
Accordingly, the Commission’s Secretary stated that the informal sector remains very critical to the success of any nation’s economy, especially in terms of its contribution to employment, growth and development.
He also said that, available information from the various studies globally, revealed that the informal sector contributes 50- 55 % to GDP in Africa and Sub- Sahara Africa Countries, and has also contributed 50- 80% to employment in the countries.
The State Employment and Expenditure for Results (SEEFOR) Project is a world Bank funded project with a concessionary interest free loan of US$200 Million designed for four (4) Niger- Delta States of Bayelsa, Delta, Edo and Rivers
The four States have been identified as States with hight rates of youth restiveness due unemployment caused by environmental degration as a result of the activities of oil companies.
Speaking also at the event, the UNDP Country Director who represented the Coordinator UN System in Nigeria, Pa Lamin Beyai , said that the informal sector is critical to the growth of Nigeria’s economy and also will help in reducing poverty in the country.
Pa Lamin also stated that activities in the informal sector can also play a crucial role in actualizing the ambition of Nigeria becoming one of the top 20 economies in the world by the year 2020.
Salisu B. Haiba
Head of Information