Posted by News Express | 26 April 2020 | 535 times
As this week may yet witness rise in new cases of the COVID-19 pandemic that has significantly challenged the wit of government’s officials in recent weeks, there are indications that employers of labour, after the crisis, may not be smiling when it comes to making the hard decision to part ways with an unimaginable number of their employees, going by insight from economic and corporate data.
While the unusual circumstance of negative threat of mass sack of workers may not be good news to workers, many players in the industry say it is an indication of more bleak days ahead, and the years of government not creating an enabling environment for investment would not be corrected in a period of weeks or even months.
Timothy Olawale, the Director General of Nigeria Employers Association (NECA), in a telephone discussion argued that while discussions about how to resolve the ongoing global economic crisis accompanying COVID-19 remain largely unresolved, manufacturers, financial experts are keeping their eyes on economic and earnings news that emanated from National Bureau of Statistics as inflation report for march hit 12.26% from the previous position of 12.20% to record the highest in 23 months.
He said: “The hard business decisions by employers of labour to part ways with employees are seldom unavoidable. If the needful is not done now, unimaginable mass job losses loom in Nigeria because ‘a stitch in time’, they say, ‘saves nine’.
This call for policy measures, according to Mr. Timothy, is necessary for government to address the consistent rising consumer price index for straight eight months, especially now that coronavirus outbreak and lockdowns globally and domestically have triggered prices of goods and services due to panicky shopping and buying.
“Government of countries, in response to COVID-19, have taken steps to bolster key sectors and lessen the socio-economic impact of the pandemic. Measures include economic assistance packages, tax moratoriums, extended deadlines, social security contributions, as well as wage subsidies, loans and guarantees for workers, and Nigeria is no exception,” he said.
He added: “To save jobs in Nigeria, more direct intervention such as: direct wage or income support, wage subsidies, tax credits or tax deferrals, short-term work schemes, moratoriums on loan payments and the establishment of a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, where government pays up to 60% of private sector salaries until June as long as workers are not laid off, as done in other climes i.e. UK, France, and Denmark, would reduce the negative impact on businesses and slow the rate of job loss.” (Daily Independent)
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