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Technology an enemy of labour

16 December 2014, 09:31

Without any atom of doubt we can considerably say that the speed of technological evolution in the world of today has been very spontaneous which originally shouldn’t be a problem. But the rate of its acceptance by so many nations of the world may eventually end up in incapacitating the labour sector of these countries which is an indicator of danger.

Labour as we know is the most perishable factor of production in that its service has got a time space (18 years to 65 years). It’s also the longest to generate when it comes to time of creation. The time it will take to produce sixty same types of machines is far lesser than the time it will take to build up a single labour for effective service. That notwithstanding labour is the most important factor of production at such any activity that will terminate the need of labour should be well evaluated before its being accepted. And this evaluation should involve a critical analysis of the nature of the country in question, i.e. if the country has a larger labour resources compared to its capital resources or a larger capital resources compared to its labour resources. Bear in mind that we shall be streamlining our factors of production to just labour and capital.

Also read: Govt agencies urged to embrace technology 

Considering our case country Nigeria, it’s glaring that Nigeria’s labour resources it’s far more than its capital resources which is certainly one of the reasons backing up the increasing unemployment level in the country. Taking this situation to mind one will think Nigeria to be one of the labour intensive advocating countries but the reverse is obviously the case as technology is fast gaining ground at the expense of the increasing labour supply of the country. Nigeria for one is one of the many countries whose citizens go against the laws of the land to mass produce labour (i.e. giving birth to more than four children) and the so many higher institutions in the republic are not failing in their duties to graduate thousands of labour in to the fast growing capital intensive society. Perhaps that could be one of the reasons behind the misbehaviours of citizens who literally ought to have shunned such behaviours. I will not mention such misbehaviours but they are visible. Banks and firms are all becoming “RobotBanks” and “Robotfirms” perhaps the security sphere of the economy may soon venture into this new found advancement soon which is if they have not already started. Going by modernisation and development I will personally applaud this sectors of the economy but I want to ask a question which is “where and what do they want the labour that have being working with them all this while and the thousands of the newly coming in labour to be doing or better put what is the fate of labour?” Because I know that these sectors are well out to maximise profit and it’s obvious that the machines are faster ways of actaulising this motive so you can guess which alternative this sectors will settle with between labour and robot machines.

Profit making is extremely paramount for any business venture that must survive and as a matter of fact I wouldn’t venture in to a business to make losses but it’s necessary and crucial to observe your location of production first before your choice of specialisation (labour intensive or capital intensive) which is where the Government comes in. No industry will choose labour over capital considering the long run effect but we know that our labour resources is ever growing so even if they face out in the long run  they will be a great reserve of available resources to readily substitute them. So I am suggesting that the government should make policies that promote more Labour intensive activities by firms and little supplementing capital (machine usage) activities if the current unemployment in the society must reduce bearing in mind that the losses in such policies are minimal with Nigeria as a case study.

Secondly if the economy must keep operating under the capital intensive nature that is fast taking over the economy then legislation should be made to reduce the number of births in the country if possible to two children per individual against the original four which is not even well practised.

Also the Government must see the need to operate under a closed economy for a while at least for a period long enough to build up the internal labour ability within the country. Importation should be limited to extremely “alternativeless” raw materials that is resources that cannot be produced in the country and has no alternatives.    

It’s high time we start checking all the advantages and disadvantages that accompany any technological innovation we choose to adopt if unemployment must ever become a story of the past in this country. Labour is what we have in abundance so let’s take our Nations absolute Advantage to mind.

- MyNews24

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