Promoting decent work and economic growth, a task for all.

decent workPoverty eradication is enhanced through stable and well-paid jobs. Nearly 2.2 billion people live below the US$2 poverty line. Global unemployment increased from 170 million in 2007 to nearly 202 million in 2012, of which about 75 million are young women and men.470 million jobs are needed globally for new entrants to the labour market between 2016 and 2030.

According to the Central Bank of Nigeria, the GDP contracted by 0.36 percent year-on-year in the first three months of 2016, compared to a 2.11 percent expansion in the previous period and way below forecasts of 1.7 percent growth. It is the first contraction since the June quarter of 2004 as the non-oil sector contracted, mainly due to a slowdown in the services sectors due to a weakening naira while lower oil prices keep dragging the oil sector down. GDP Annual Growth Rate in Nigeria averaged 4.12 percent from 1982 until 2016, reaching an all-time high of 19.17 percent in the fourth quarter of 2004 and a record low of -7.81 percent in the fourth quarter of 1983.

The importance of ‘Decent Work and Economic Growth’ was underscored by its inclusion in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Occupying number 8, it targets build-up of decent work and economic growth in the societies; sustained per capita economic growth in accordance with national circumstances and, in particular, at least 7 per cent gross domestic product growth per annum in the least developed countries; achievement of higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high-value added and labour-intensive sectors and promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation.

Other targets of this SDG 8 include the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services; improve progressively, through 2030, global resource efficiency in consumption and production and endeavour to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation, in accordance with the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production, with developed countries taking the lead.

By 2030, SDG 8 targets to achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value.

No doubt, if the work force enjoys decent work in terms of environment and wages, they would be able to work optimally and stimulate economic growth. Let all promote decent work and economic growth for the sustainability of future generations.

Written by Nicole Chukwuka (intern). Graphics by Daniel Femi Macaulay