Economics-Conference Papers

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    Open Access
    Technology adoption, skill development and employment by SMEs in Sub-Saharan African Countries
    (2021) Adegboye, A.C.; Osobase, A.O.
    In general, technology adoption has been shown to matter for productivity growth, income expansion, and the overall welfare of societies. However, technology adoption by firms in recent times has evolved into a series of automation processes, artificial intelligence (AI), and robotics, with divergent implications for employment, especially for developing countries. While there are arguments that technology tends to reduce workspaces thereby making workers redundant, there are other views that consider modern technology as capable of creating better job opportunities, especially from smaller businesses. One clear issue is that investment in technology by SMEs can be associated with employment reallocation and substitution outcomes often involving difficult adjustments for firms and individuals. This is because technological change may be skill biased, requiring workers to develop new skills in order to fit into modern workspaces. Thus, widespread technology adoption by businesses may lead to high levels of displacement and unemployment. In this study, the effect of technology adoption by small and medium enterprises in sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries on employment are examined. The role of skills development in either aggravating or mitigating the technology-employment nexus is also investigated. For the analysis, the type of new technology adopted by businesses is considered in terms of product-oriented technology and process-oriented technology. The effects of both forms of technology adoption on employment are assumed to differ, especially with regard to skill-mitigating relationships. Data for selected African countries was obtained from the World Bank Enterprise Surveys. The study finds that SMEs with focus on technology acquisition tend to place less importance on employment. For those that have increased employment, skilled workers are the main target. It was also found that technology has improved entrepreneurial employment but has also led to less employment within smaller firms among SSA countries. In general, adoption of technology was found to be creating a demand-side barrier to the employment of low-skilled youth among SSA countries. The study therefore recommends a retooling scheme (in terms of technology-related skills) among young people that are transiting from education into the labour force in order for the job-seekers to be more relevant for employment. Programmes that support employers to expand quality apprenticeship and internship should also be encouraged in order for the youth to develop soft skills and skills that complement automation in the workplace should also be pursued by government.
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    Open Access
    Pricing Policy and the Development of the Petroleum Product Market
    (Proceeding of a National Conference on Nigeria’s Petroleum Resources and the Niger Delta Environment, 2002) Odior, E.S.O.; Okoh, R.N.
    In this work, we examine the issue of pricing policy in the petroleum product sector in Nigeria. The experience over the years has been that of regulation by Government. The paper examines the situation critically, and concludes that the solution to the fundamental inefficiency in the petroleum product sector, which manifests in the forms of inappropriate pricing, scarcity of refined petroleum products, smuggling, product adulteration and a situation in which the existing refineries are not maintained on a regular basis, can only be rectified by a well-designed and implemented programme of deregulation.
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    Open Access
    Infrastructure Development and Economic Diversification of the Urban Region: Policy Implications from Lagos State
    (2016-09-29) Omojolaibi, J.A; Lanre, I.R
    This study examines the role of infrastructure development in the economic diversification of Nigeria with reference to the urban regions. It identifies mechanisms that are feasible for rapid developments and diversification of the economy under currently severe economic crisis, and to determine their effectiveness in promoting sustainable development through diversity in production and distribution of goods and services. The primary objective of the study is to investigate the relationship between infrastructure developments and economic diversification in the metropolitan area of Lagos, which include Lagos Island, Kosofe and Ikeja. Two research questions and two hypotheses will be answered and tested respectively to guide the findings of the study. The descriptive survey research design will be used in carrying out the study. Questionnaire will be used for data collection. A sample of 300 employees from sectors such as; power, telecommunication, education, health and road transportation are the participants. The bio data of the participants were analyzed via discrete analysis and descriptive statistics. The testing of the hypotheses were done with the use of the Logistic Regression Model (LRM) and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) at 0.05 level of significance. The study finds government, private sector and natural resources as a crucial mechanism needed to surmount the challenges currently facing the economy. The study also finds that economic diversification is positively related to the growth/development of the Nigerian economy. The study recommends that focus should be given to telecommunication, power and energy and education sector as growth/developments in these sectors are presumed highly sensitive to stimulating development in other sectors and necessary to reduce overdependence on the oil sector. Due to the tremendous roles of human resource/manpower in the development process, it is also recommended that government should ensure adequate funding of education sector and encourage private partnership participation in the sector.