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“What we are doing is not enough”, labour minister says on efforts to end unemployment

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About 15 million people are unemployed in Africa’s largest economy, according to Nigeria’s minister of labour and employment, Dr Chris Ngige.

Despite the recent efforts by the Nigerian government through N-power that recruited about half a million Nigerians, according to Ngige, those searching for white-collar jobs are in the “neighbourhood of about 15 million”.

While the Nigerian government has sought means to end the alarming rate of unemployment, the labour minister revealed that the government was not doing enough to address the scourge.

“We are doing something, but I think what we are doing is not enough,” Ngige said.

He said the government has employed agricultural means which had helped some people, as well as “ad hoc procedures like N-POWER programme.”

“It is like a drop of water in the ocean,” he said. “We have employed through that process 500,000 people, about half a million. But we have those searching for white-collar jobs in the neighbourhood of about 15 million.”

“So, we have to do something — to teach people new vocations, new skills, so that not everybody will be going for white-collar jobs.

Nearly a quarter of the country’s population is unemployed while 20 per cent is underemployed. As at February 2019, 55.4 per cent of youths within the age bracket 15 to 35 are without work.


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