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NDE begins rural information system to tackle youth unemployment


Kunle Obayan

Kunle Obayan

The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) is set to introduce the Rural Employment Management Information System (REMIS) to address youth unemployment and also boost food production in the country.

The Acting Director General of NDE, Kunle Obayan, who disclosed this in Abuja, explained that over 2,500 Graduates would be engaged as agents and their job will be to liaise with farmers, provide them with information on farm inputs, prices of farm produce and how farmers can expand their businesses.

His words: “The NDE is developing REMIS, not only with a view to boosting agricultural practice, but also provide employment to fresh Gradates in the sector. Over 2,500 REMIS agents will be engaged all over the country. The REMIS is a computer-based application to be installed on mobile phones. It is ICT based. Information such as whether and prices of commodities could be assessed on the go. So, a farmer is able to know how much his produce is selling for in the market and the location where it is needed. The agent will be in touch with the farmer to assist him with relevant information. Even on that platform, farmers can have their produce there, and people will bid for it. And all the agents can have access to it. So the farmer can make more profit from his produce.”

The NDE Chief hinted that minimum qualification for the agents would be a National Diploma that would be trained like extension agents.

He added: The agents will link the farmer with people that will give them farm inputs such as pesticides, fertilizer and seedlings. They will also get information on those farmers in areas that we can help them or expand their businesses. Like if they have issues like diseases affecting their poultry, they will quickly find a vet for them. Secondly, it will be easier now to quickly alert the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) over any disease outbreak and the response will be faster.”

While lauding the Buhari administration over its desire to boost job creation initiatives, Obayan stated that the NDE is committee to playing its traditional roles under the supervision of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige.

Speaking on some of the new initiatives the Directorate has introduced to reduce youth unemployment since he assumed office, Obanya said: “When I came on board as acting DG, we put so many things in place. We have our own traditional programmes in terms of vocational skills training that we do annually to tackle unemployment such special public works, and agricultural skills training in rural employment promotion. But because of the experience we have on the field, we realized that we have to bring in new things.

“We have to be innovative to capture some other grey areas of unemployment. So, we decided at that point to have a registration of the unemployed. That will enable us have a broad view of the colouration and character of the unemployment we have in the country. There are areas we probably are not getting to. We wanted to get to the nook and crannies to register people to know exactly what problems we have, so we know exactly what solutions to proffer. That project is still ongoing. But we require more funding to move forward.”

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