Trade associations lament plight of Informal Sector, suggest remedies

Posted by News Express | 10 July 2019 | 552 times

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•Conference Organiser Nelson Obine with a cross section of CONITA 2019 participants

Speakers at the second edition of the Conference of Nigeria Trade Associations (CONITA) 2019 have enumerated challenges faced by the informal sector to include poor infrastructural facilities, lack of patronage from the government, local government harassment and poor economy, amongst others

The co-host of the discussion, Mr. Nelson Obine, noted that the informal sector operates under some form of government laws and regulations that generate income to the government. They obtain, at cost, operating licenses, permits, signage, registered business names and registered premises. He adduced the causes of rise in the informal sector to the increased tax burden and regulation in the formal economy, government failures and increasing unemployment rate in the country.

Obine noted that as of the 2018 report, the informal sector was said to contribute over 65percent of the nation’s GDP and accounts for over 70percent of the working population but today, they make up to 80percent per cent of new jobs in Africa, adding that in spite of these strides they are often neglected by the government.

“The spate of kidnapping, insurgency, climate change, high cost of alternative source of energy resulting in fall in income affects everyone. But Obine advised: “Every entity operates under one economy which is practically the ground of convergence. It is imperative for all and sundry to come together as a forum to address the bothering issues of the economy for inclusive growth if we must achieve on sustainable development goals.”

Ms Adeyemi on her own decried duplication of the trade association in the same discipline and the continued attention accorded them by government agencies, explaining that this parochial play by the government will not drive membership, benefits and growth. She advised the government to consider the informal entrepreneurs in their demand for services, maintenance and procurement decisions.

Another participant, Mr. Lanre Bayewu, stressed the importance of large scale production in order to excel in a competitive market which the bigger conglomerates are enjoying today.

Mr. Wale Thompson of the Lagos State Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment while feeding questions on-behalf Mrs. Taiwo Abiose, Head of Entrepreneurship, shared the visions and achievement of the ministry.

Other speakers include Mr. Ajepeaiye Nurudeen of National Electronics Technician Association of Nigeria, Mr. Aderoju Babatunde of Professional Carpenters and Furniture Makers Association of Lagos, Adenike Opebi of the Lagos State Chapter of Rentals Association, with all highlighting the challenges facing the informal sector.

The one-day conference was climaxed with the recommendation of sustainable solution which includes making data on the informal sector available for in-depth analysis; with special consideration accorded to women to ensure that their peculiar interest and characteristics are taken into consideration. Also recommended are more enlightenment campaigns by the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), Consumer Protection Council (CPC) and National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

The second edition of the Conference of Nigeria Trade Associations 2019 with the theme Convergence of Informal Sector and Trade Associations for Sustainable Development which held at the LCCI Conference and Exhibition Centre, Lagos, Nigeria on June 25, 2019 started off on a good note with unprecedented number of attendance making it the largest gathering of diverse trade associations in Nigeria.

The conference brought together a great number of informal entrepreneurs, business executives, government agencies, media practitioners and trade associations across diverse sectors in Nigeria and has remained the first of its kind in Nigeria.

The aim of the conference among others was to identify the modern ways of assessing sustainable practices among trade associations and in the informal sector across industry lines for inclusive growth and making a recommendation for sustainable development to achieving the United Nations Global Goals locally.

The conference came to a close with a call on others to join the gathering in the next edition.

Source: News Express

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