Delivering better service at all levels is the only way to improve labour productivity in the country and help citizens graduate from poverty and become self-reliant, Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi has said.
The premier was yesterday speaking during celebrations to mark International Labour Day at Kigali Special Economic Zone in Gasabo District.
The May Day celebration attracted several government officials, trade union as well as hundreds of employees and employers, among others.
Premier Murekezi said May Day is celebrated to help employers and employees reflect on their performance in the past year and discuss how they can improve on their work.
He said that while the country had registered tremendous progress in promoting service and labour, there was a lot to be done to ensure more is achieved.
The premier said that celebrating the day at the Kigali Special Economic Zone was meant to promote Made-in-Rwanda programme and attract more investors there as the zone was set up for that purpose.
“In order to improve labour and increase productivity of what we do, I would urge employers and employees to always ensure better service delivery,” Murekezi said, calling for service seekers to detest poor service.
The PM said the benefits that come with delivering better service are huge, stressing that, last year, services contributed 48 per cent to the national growth.
He said the figure could improve as the service sector contributes a lot in other countries such as in Singapore where he said it contributes up to 70 per cent of the national economy.
“Let us offer better services to whoever seek service from us, it costs us nothing yet it brings us huge benefits, employees and employers should work together to offer better service to all their clients,” Murekezi said.
“Let us bear in mind that a client is a king and offer them desired service in a better and faster way. Let us embrace technology to improve the way services are offered.”
Some celebrants testified of how they were benefiting from the Made-in-Rwanda programme that is meant to promote locally-made products.
They talked about how they started from scratch and the way they want to keep developing and make Made-in-Rwanda successful.
“I started as a casual worker at a garment factory and always ignored tailoring. I have gone from a tailor trainee to the production manager I am today and feel I am yet to reach nowhere,” said James Ikirize, a staffer at a garment factory in the Kigali Special Economic Zone.
Premier Murekezi encouraged Rwandans and foreign investors to venture into local products, adding that the recent cabinet meeting adopted a draft law on public procurement.
“This draft law places a particular emphasis on locally-made products and other services and activities, which are done by Rwandans in public procurement competition,” Murekezi said.
“The private sector should improve the quality of their products so that they stand a chance of winning public tenders. You will also need to focus on what Rwandans need on a daily basis and ensure there are measures to help them know those products.”
Quoting the Integrated Household Living Conditions Survey 4 (EICV 4), published in 2015, the premier said the current unemployment rate was still high as in the city it stands at 9 per cent while for university graduates it is at 14 per cent.
However, he noted that the Government had put in place facilities for the unemployed to acquire skills through short-term courses for skills and entrepreneurship needed on the labour market.
Murekezi also called for the government, the trade unions and employees to have permanent tripartite consultations under which to regularly discuss labour laws with views to improve the labour sector.