Nigeria has adopted strategies to generate 20 million jobs in the agriculture, construction, transport and the services sectors.Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, said in Abuja on Monday during a meeting with stakeholders on strategies for job creation by the Federal Government.
The minister, who was represented by Mr. Sunday Akpan, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry noted that the ministry has charged the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) to come up with revolutionary multi-faceted job wealth creation strategies that will lead to a lasting solution to the hydra-headed problem.
Enelamah said, “ITF has been able to propose pragmatic strategies that within the tenure of the next level will generate about 20 million jobs from four key sectors of the Nigerian economy.”
He urged stakeholders to proffer innovative and pragmatic solutions that would pave the way for job creation leading to growth and development of the economy through entrepreneurship and increased Growth Domestic Product.
The Director-General of ITF, Mr. Joseph Ari, said the number of Nigerians without jobs had been a source of worry to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said the National Bureau for Statistics (NBS) stated that the number of unemployed Nigerians increased from 17.6 million in fourth quarter of 2017 to 20.9 million in the third quarter of 2018.
“This is despite the fact that the number of people in employment increased from 68.4 million in the third quarter of 2015.
“It also increased to 68.72 million in the third quarter of 2016 to 69.09 million in the third quarter of (2017) and 69.53 million in the third quarter of 2018,” Ari said.
He said that what the report indicated was that although government efforts to create jobs might be having an impact, the number of unemployed persons was still rising.
Ari said that Buhari’s administration had made tremendous efforts to create jobs as could be seen in the increases in the number of people employed as cited by the NBS.
“Today, across the length and breadth of country are visible evidences of the Federal Government’s efforts to get Nigerians engaged, from social Investment programmes like N-Power initiative and TraderMoni.
“Others like Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme and Home Grown School Feeding Programme to the numerous skills acquisition programmes being implemented by ITF, the Federal Government has done enough to be applauded,” he said.
Ari said ITF had equipped more than 450,000 Nigerians with life skills and empowered beneficiaries with start-up packs within the last two years.
He said that more than 80 percent of the number was earning sustainable livelihoods either in paid employment or as successful entrepreneurs who were employing others.
“Governments alone, as seen in societies that have reduced unemployment to single digit figures, cannot do it alone.
“Indeed, in all societies that unemployment is single digits, they relied on sectors other than Government,” Ari said.
He said the meeting would appraise the report and contribute ideas on its improvements and in areas where the stakeholders would assist the government either through funding or by technical assistance.