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‘Seven in 10 workers are self-employed’

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A recent study has revealed that seven in 10 workers are self-employed or in small businesses, a finding that has significant implications for employment and enterprise support policies world-wide.

According to the new International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates, self-employment, micro and small enterprises play a far more important role in providing jobs than previously believed.

The Data, gathered in 99 countries, found that the so-called ‘small economic units’ together account for 70 per cent of total employment, making them by far the most important drivers of employment.

The findings have “highly relevant” implications for policies and programmes on job creation, job quality, start-ups, enterprise productivity and job formalisation, which, the report says, need to focus more on these small economic units.

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The study also found that an average of 62 per cent of employment in these 99 countries is in the informal sector, where working conditions, in general, tend to be inferior, (i.e. a lack of social security, lower wages, poor occupational safety and health and weaker industrial relations).

The informality level varies widely, ranging from more than 90 per cent in Benin, Cote d’Ivoire and Madagascar to less than five per cent in Austria, Belgium, Brunei Darussalam and Switzerland.

The information is published in a new ILO report, Small matters: Global evidence on the contribution to employment by the self-employed, micro-enterprises and SMEs.

The report finds that in high-income countries, 58 per cent of total employment is in small economic units, while in low and middle-income countries, the proportion is considerably higher.

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In countries with the lowest income levels, the proportion of employment in small economic units is almost 100 per cent, the report says.

ILO estimates draw on national household and labour force surveys, gathered in all regions except North America, rather than using the more traditional source of enterprise surveys that tend to have more limited scope.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that the employment contribution of so-called small economic units has been estimated, in comparative terms, for such a large group of countries, particularly low and middle-income countries,” said Dragan Radic, Head of the ILO’s Small and Medium Enterprises Unit.

The report advises that supporting small economic units should be a central part of economic and social development strategies.

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It highlights the importance of creating an enabling environment for such businesses, ensuring that they have effective representation and that social dialogue models also work for them.

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Other recommendations include understanding how enterprise productivity is shaped by a wider “ecosystem“, facilitating access to finance and markets, advancing women’s entrepreneurship, and encouraging the transition towards the formal economy and environmental sustainability.

 

NAN

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65-year-old customs boss, Hameed Ali, takes new wife (Photos)

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The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) over the weekend got married to a new bride, Hajiya Zainab Abdullahi in a wedding ceremony devoid of fanfare because of the ravage of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

Before being appointed as Comptroller General of NCS by President Muhammadu Buhari, Ali, 65 years of age had previously served as military administrator of Kaduna State from 1996 to 1998.

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Hameed Ali’s first wife, Hajiya Hadiza Jummai Ali died in Abuja on October 29th, 2018 at the age of 53 years old.

Hajiya Ali who was the first lady of Kaduna State when her husband served as a military administrator of the state from 1996 to 1998, left behind her husband, Hameed Ali and four children.

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Born 15 January 1955, the current Customs CG previously served as Military Governor of Kaduna State from 1996 to 1998. After retirement, he became secretary of the Arewa Consultative Forum – a political and cultural association of leaders in Northern Nigeria.

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Bayelsa confirms first COVID-19 death

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The Bayelsa State Government has confirmed the death of a Coronavirus patient from complications linked to the disease.

The Director of Public Health in the state’s ministry of health and member of the state’s COVID-19 task force committee, Dr Jones Stowe who confirmed the death of the patient said the deceased is one of the two military personnel who was among the new cases announced in the state a few days ago.

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Daily Trust reported that the deceased died after suffering from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and other related complications days after testing positive for Coronavirus.

Bayelsa state has so far recorded 12 confirmed cases of Coronavirus.

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COVID-19: Monarch seeks lockdown extension

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Imo: Okada rider crushed while answering phone call

The Chairman of the Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers told the Federal Government on Sunday to extend the current lockdown as the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Nigeria nears the 10,000 mark.

Eze Samuel Ohiri made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, saying the lockdown extension was necessary to avert the rapid spread of the deadly virus in rural communities.

Nigeria has currently recorded 9,855 confirmed cases of the virus, 553 of which were recorded in the past 24 hours.

Two hundred and seventy-five deaths have also been recorded with 2,856 people discharged after recovering from the disease, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

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On March 4, President Muhammadu Buhari announced a nationwide lockdown to check the spread of the virus and extended the lockdown on May 4.

Ohiri, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Hi-Tech Diagnostics Ltd., noted that the lockdown had isolated the deadly virus to only metropolitan areas.

“Any plan to relax the lockdown at this time is not advisable because it will trigger community transmission from the metropolitan areas to rural areas.

“Nigeria at the moment has lost over 200 lives to COVID-19 and we cannot afford to lose more. So let government not relax the lockdown for now.”

The monarch also lauded the Federal Government’s efforts so far in containing the virus, urging State Governments to sustain the restriction on inter-state movements.

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According to him, as soon the lockdown is lifted, inter-state movements will commence and community transmission will set in.

“A country like Ghana recorded unprecedented 60 per cent increase in COVID-19 infections after relaxing their lockdown.

“This disease is very deadly that even the survivors still suffer damage of one organ or the order, especially the lungs.”

The royal father, however, described speculations of conspiracy theory on COVID-19 as unfounded rumours, saying that proper education was required to prepare people against the virus.

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He emphasised the imperative of collective responsibility in the fight against the virus, saying that total adherence to safety measures was key to reducing spread.

Ohiri disclosed that his firm had manufactured testing kits for COVID-19 and that the kits were capable of showing results in five minutes.

NAN

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