Prof. Isaiah Olurinola, a university lecturer, has advised the Federal Government to provide an enabling environment for the informal sector to thrive.
Olurinola, a Professor in the Department of Economics, Covenant University, Ota, gave the advice at the 10th Inaugural Lecture of the institution penultimate Friday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the lecture had the theme: “Repositioning the Informal Economy for Employment Creation and Entrepreneurial Development in Nigeria.’’
According to him, the informal sector has outperformed the formal sector and it is the greater employer of labour.
The don said that informal sector was responsible for the employment of 50 to 60 percent of non-agricultural labour in the Nigerian economy.
“The informal sector has rescued many people from open unemployment to informal employment in the urban labour market,’’ he said.
Olurinola said that the formal sector was not helping Nigerians to escape from poverty as much as the informal sector.
He said that the informal sector had the potential to increase employment and output phenomenally if properly nurtured by addressing such problems like lack of access to credit facilities, poor infrastructure and lack of good policies.
“The Federal Government must be bold enough to take the bull by the horn in tackling the challenges facing the sector,’’ the don said.
Olurinola said the Federal Government needed to close the breakdown of mutual trust and confidence between the government and the informal sector.
Dr David Oyedepo, the Chancellor of the institution, said there was the need for the Federal Government to re-orientate all her agents to adopt a friendly approach than the prevailing hostile way of collecting taxes from operators in the informal sector.
Oyedepo was represented by Prof. Bridget Sokan, the Education Secretary of Living Faith Church Worldwide.
Prof. Aderemi Atayero, the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, said that the role of the informal sector could not be overemphasised in any economy.
Atayero said that the informal sector had provided employment opportunities for over 75 percent in the Sub-Sahara African.
He said that the inaugural lecture became necessary to address issues in the economy.