‘FG to create 20m new jobs in four years’
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, has assured Nigerians that the Federal Government is very much prepared to create up to 20 million new jobs from four key sectors – Agriculture, Construction, Transport, and Services in the next four years.
Enelamah said it is on this basis that the Ministry charged the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), to come up with revolutionary multi-faceted job/wealth creation strategies that would lead to a lasting solution to this hydra-headed problem of unemployment in Nigeria.
He said the ITF has done justice to the task assigned to them, saying: “from the report I have received, the ITF has been able to propose pragmatic strategies that within tenure of the next level, government will fulfil this onerous task.”
The Minister gave the assurance yesterday in his Keynote address at a one-day stakeholders meeting on strategies for job creation, in Abuja.He also said: “The report, which is to be presented to us shortly by the ITF Director-General, forms the crux of this meeting. The meeting will be expected to examine all the aspects of the report with a view to dissecting all the recommendations therein and proffering additional strategies and action plan that will lead to jobs for all Nigerians.”
Represented by his Permanent Secretary, Mr. Sunday Akpan, the Minister noted that “The onerous task before you is to generate ideas on how best to defeat unemployment using these four key sectors. I am aware of several studies especially the ITF/UNIDO Skills Gap Assessment of six priority sectors of the Nigerian economy, which was presented to the public last year. It identified the four sectors that were focused by the ITF report as those that vacancies still exist, but cannot be filled by Nigerians because of the absence of requisite knowledge and skills to man those sectors, on this premise therefore, the ITF report now provides us the opportunity to chart a roadmap for the engagement of Nigerians in these sectors.”
He charge the stakeholders to brainstorm and articulate ideas using their various professional experiences, technical capacity and ingenuity, to proffer innovative and pragmatic solutions that will pave the way for job creation leading to growth and development of the nation’s economy through entrepreneurship and increased Growth Domestic Product (GDP).
Enelamah assured that the government will be working tirelessly to ensure that its programmes on ease of doing business are actualised and that the private sector is repositioned for prosperity and economic diversification.
In a welcome address, the ITF Director-General, Sir Joseph Hari, noted that nationwide are needless incidences of violence criminality and social vices perpetrated by persons that ordinarily should be contribution significantly to the development of the nation.
He said as part of its contributions to reducing unemployment in the country, the ITF has equipped over 450,000 Nigerians with life skills and empowered all the beneficiaries with start-up packs within the last two years.
Hari said: “Over 80 per cent of this number today are earning sustainable livelihoods either in paid employment or are successful entrepreneurs who are even employing others. The stories are similar in a number of agencies with a mandate to empower Nigerians with skills for employability and growth.”He argued that no matter the programmes, government alone cannot end unemployment, as “Indeed, in all societies that unemployment is a single digit, they relied on sectors other than government.”