Saturday, 30 May 2009

Good Job!

Twenty nine Nigerians and seven corporate bodies have been selected by the Federal Government for this year's National Productivity Award.

Addressing journalists this week, Minister of Labour and Productivity, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode said no nation can enhance the quality of life of its citizenry as well as be self reliant and competitive in the international market without productivity improvement in all sectors of its economy.

"It is imperative that the citizenry be consistently reminded on the need for developing a productive mindset that would ensure the growth of all sectors of economy."

On his part, the Director General of the National Productivity Centre, Dr Paul M. Bdliya said the awardees would receive plaques and certificates personally signed by the President.

Among awardees are Engineer Bunu Sheriff Musa, Professors Sam Ale, Abiodun Ilesanmi, Olusegun Oke, Ayodele Makanjuola, Mathew Agu and Gladys Falusi.

Others are Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Alhaji Umaru Shagalinku and Mazi Clement while Engineers Shamsideen Elegba and Markus Gundiri will also receive awards.

Corporate organisations to be honoured are DAAR Communications, Mr. Biggs, NAFDAC Abuja, VEE TEK Nigeria Ltd, Aba, Abia State, Tofa General Enterprises, Students in Free-Enterprise (SIFE) Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and the Raw Materials Research and Development Council Abuja.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Are you prepared fro Swine Flu?

You might think that the Swine flu crisis is over. There have been few reported new cases in recent days. Can we all relax. Well, perhaps!

The problem is that a new variant of the virus might rear its head ... with greater effect.

Do we just deal with it when it happens. In a way, yes .. but it does make sense to do whatever you can ... like reviewing policy and practice on home working. Many organisations are looking at such issues - usually with a view to saving money on additional property costs as the firm grows. But home working could be a useful way of stopping a new strain of Swine Flu spreading through your workforce.

So, one thing you can do now is to check which of your IT systems might need to be modified to allow access to data at home - in a secure manner.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Economic and Environmental imperatives

The biggest research imperative facing Agriculture today is to find ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions that also deliver productivity gains according to the Australian Council of Deans of Agriculture (ACDA).

At their meeting in Canberra this month, ACDA president, Professor Roger Leigh, indicated that 2013 is the date set to review the involvement of agriculture in any carbon trading scheme.

“Doing nothing in the meantime to address agricultural emissions will see agricultural costs of production increase,” Professor Leigh says. "And these costs need to be offset by productivity increases."

Prof Leigh went on to say that Australian agriculture has a substantial long-term opportunity to contribute to addressing the world’s food shortages as well as continuing to underpin the Australian economy through its export earnings.

Monday, 11 May 2009

New Zealand needs New Productivity

Raising productivity has been identified in an OECD report on New Zealand as the country's greatest medium term challenge. The report analyses New Zealand's economic situation, identifies perceived failings and offers a raft of measures on to how to improve them.

It noted New Zealand's economy was now among the most indebted in the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) group of 30 industrialised nations.

While a process of debt reduction had started, persistent, large current-account deficits and a high external debt rendered the economy especially vulnerable in the recession. The report suggests that the economy is likely to remain in recession throughout 2009, before recovering "only hesitantly" in 2010 and goes on to say that increased productivity growth is critical for closing the large income gap with other OECD countries, and that government ownership should be reassessed to spur competition in certain sectors.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Conservation Agriculture boosts productivity

Unlike conventional farming practices, conservation agriculture (CA)is aimed at attaining food security at the household level by minimizing soil disturbance, maintaining a permanent soil cover and practising crop rotation. When these are practised together with other good agronomic practices it is possible to increase yields significantly.

Labour or fuel costs are reduced dramatically by moving away from ploughing. Fertilizer and moisture are used more efficiently by concentrating them where they are needed by the crops.

Experience from pilot CA projects in Zambia and Zimbabwe shows increased access to food by those that practice it. This in turn has reduced their dependence on food markets and has increased their resilience to weather and socio-economic related shocks” said Bernard Namachila, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives in Zambia at a regional event on CA event in April.