The spokesperson for Atiku campaign organisation, Segun Sowunmi, says the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, if elected will create more jobs through privatisation of Nigeria’s economy.
Sowunmi in an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, on Monday, also said that there is a job creation problem in Nigeria which according to him, Atiku, when elected, will solve.
“The central idea why Atiku Abubakar is campaigning and trying to be President is because of the people. We said we will create jobs because we have a job creation problem in Nigeria. Not only because of the maladministration of this government, although they contributed a lot to it.
An Economist, Dr. Biodun Adedipe, has asked the Federal Government to use what he described as development intelligence in luring investors into the country.
Adedipe stated this on Friday during an interview on Channels Television’s Business Morning.
“The critical thing for me is development intelligence. Development Intelligence means government at the federal, state and local levels will go out deliberately; identify private operators in priority sectors to offer incentives to come produce in their own jurisdiction,” he said.
According to him, countries like Ghana, Rwanda, South Africa, among others, use development intelligence to advance their nation.
“What they do is to go to an already operating manufacturer that is successful and then they approach you and make you an offer to come to their territory,” he explained.
He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to do the same which he believes will, in turn, create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive and provide more jobs for citizens.
Adedipe also asked states to align with the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
Former Vice President , Atiku Abubakar , has said that creating better opportunities will help check the rise in illegal migration of Nigerians.
He stated this in Abuja while marking the United Nations International Migrants Day on December 18, 2017.
“The chances of a young person with a job and opportunity at home taking a suicidal flight in search of a better life will become an exception and not the rule,” Atiku said.
Using the recent case of slave trading in Libya as an example, where over 400 Nigerians were subjected to inhumane treatments, Atiku in a statement from his media office, called on African leaders to create an environment conducive for economic progress and employment generation.
He, therefore, stated that to prevent a recurrence of such, the Federal and state governments ought to discourage potential migrants through public enlightenment about the implications of illegal overseas travels.
In achieving this, the PDP chief also urged the international community to ensure that the international code of treatment of migrants is strictly adhered to.
The President of African Development Bank, Mr. Akinwunmi Adesina, has urged African leaders to develop the Agricultural sector, saying it would make industries strive and create more jobs.
He made this known during an interview on Channels Television’s Business Morning on Wednesday.
Adesina, who was also a Minister of Agriculture, during the Jonathan Presidency said, “Africa must industrialise its Agricultural sector. If you look at the cocoa today, Africa produces 75 per cent of all the cocoa beans in the world.
“But the size of the chocolate market is $100bn and Africa’s share of that market is only two per cent. It makes no sense and so, the price of cocoa you know will always decline whenever the price of chocolate and the price of cotton that we produce a lot of lot of it decline.
“But never will the price of textile or garments or the price of coffee but you are also a big producer of will find it decline. Have you ever been to Starbucks and they tell you that the price of brewed coffee has actually gone down?” he questioned.
Reiterating his call for the continent to revamp its Agricultural sector, he added, “What we got to do is to actually industrialise the Agricultural sector. I am a firm believer in the fact that the time to do that is now.
“If you look at Nigeria where I come from, you take a look at the North of the country where we have a lot of security challenges, you look at the Northern Kenya and Mali where they have a lot of problems, what do you have in common?
“What we have in common is what I call a triangle of disaster. And a triangle of disaster basically is, whenever you find it following three factors you have terrorists operating, first extreme rural poverty.
“Second, you also have high level of rural employment among young people. You also have areas where you have climate and environmental degradation. Anywhere you find these three factors I call disaster triangle, you also find terrorists operating.
The Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo says the Federal Government is committed to solving the problem of youth unemployment in the country.
Professor Osinbajo said this when he paid a visit to The N-Power Resource Centre in Abuja.
He said although the scheme has not been able to absorb all those that applied, government will continue to create opportunities that will engender job creation in the country.
“Already 200,000 young graduates have been engaged and since the portal was opened, another 2.3 million or so have applied and we are looking at the next phase of engagement.
“For me I think what is important is that we are able to do this incrementally and that we are able to give hope to some of the young people who need the opportunity. We are never going to always be able to do everything but I think it is important that we do as much as we can. If we could, the target was 500,000 employees but depending on our resources, we can always do more.
“It is much more than an employment programme, it’s a learning programme, it’s a skills development programme,”Osinbajo added.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has tasked the Nigerian state governors to give priority to job creation and youth empowerment.
The Sultan, who is the President of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, proposed that the recommendation would end the menace of restiveness and violent crime bedeviling Nigeria.
He noted that if youths were fully engaged in meaningful ventures, they would not avail themselves as tools for perpetrating violence and other heinous crimes in the society.
The monarch made the recommendation in Lokoja during the inauguration of the Kogi State Revenue House which was built by the Governor Yahaya Bello led administration.
He commended Governor Bello for striving hard in bringing development to the people in the face of the economic recession and dwindling resources.
The Sultan urged the people of Kogi State to support the governor in the development of the state.
“Today we’ve gathered to (witness) this very important occasion after praying at the mosque this afternoon.
“We are here to commission the building which of course, you all know the importance of money.
“Nothing works without money; money is needed in everything to achieve a goal.
“We are therefore grateful to God for us to be part of history to commission this project,” he said.
Lack Of Vision
In his address, the Executive Chairman of the revenue board, Mr Yakubu Oseni, said that what existed as a revenue house before the building was erected was nothing to write home about.
“In retrospect, we may recall that at his inauguration ceremony, his excellency (Governor Bello) declared unreservedly that he will take this state to an enviable height.
“True to this declaration, we have gathered here to witness the commissioning of the revenue house.
“There is no better way to walk the walk than for us to witness the commissioning of this revenue house today.
“Your royal majesties, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, let me emphasise for better understanding that what existed as revenue house before we came on board left a lot to be desired, it was in a state of comatose.
“This was largely due to lack of vision and mission, accountability, transparency and sound leadership,” he said.
The event was witnessed by top government functionaries, royal fathers, religious leaders and indigenes from the 21 local government areas of the state among others.
The ceremony also marked the first year of Governor Bello’s administration as the fourth Executive Governor of Kogi State.
Governors from the north-west zone of Nigeria have met in Kaduna to discuss issues affecting the region and the country in general.
The meeting was held behind closed door at the Kaduna State Government House and had in attendance the governors of Kebbi, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto as well as the deputy governors of Kaduna and Kano states.
Briefing journalists at the end of the meeting, Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina state who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, said that the meeting focused on how to revive agriculture as a way of boosting the revenue profile of the states especially during this present economic recession.
“We discussed the issue of taking advantage of the policies of the federal government in the area of agriculture in particular and the states are mobilised towards taking full advantage of the programmes by the federal government,” he said.
He further explained that the governors appraised the ongoing war against cattle rustlers and armed bandits in the region.
“I think cattle rustling has been really reduced to the barest minimum now and we are working together with law enforcement agencies to ensure that the issue of cattle rustling is addressed once and for all,” he promised.
Besides the plans to enhance the security in the region, the governors have also came up with a plan on youth empowerment and job creation that will be implemented by various states.
This, according to him, is to encourage the youths to go back to agriculture which the north is known for.
Osun State Government on Thursday presented letters of employment to over 100 unemployed youths recruited into the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to upsurge the Internally Generated Revenue of the state.
The newly recruited youths were said to have been selected across the 30 local governments including the Area office, Modakeke, as the full-fledged staff to assist the state in its revenue generation.
Addressing the beneficiaries at a three-day training workshop organized by the Board, the Director of Finance and Strategy, Osun Board Internal Revenue Service, Mr Oluyemi Oni, said that the essence of the training was to give the newly employed tax marshals requisite knowledge and to instill in them the basic principles that will aid them to diligently discharge their duties.
Oni said that out of over 400 revenue marshals who were recruited on contract basis about one year ago, 100 of them were absorbed due to their excellent performance while on probation.
Giving insights into the recruitment criteria, Oni said NCE, OND, HND, B.SCS and Masters Degree holders were considered by the board to be fixed into levels 6, 7 and 8 respectively.
According to him, having absorbed 100 trainees into the board, efforts were being made to finally absorb them into civil service just as a fresh batch would be absorbed by the board very soon.
“As part of efforts to improve on the state IGR, the board had to secure the approval of the government to absorb 100 officers into the board as staffs so as to assist the state in its quest to improve on its revenue generation,” he said.
Oni implored the beneficiaries to see the appointment as a call to service by living up to their responsibilities in making the state to realize its objectives on robust revenue generation.
Earlier, Chairman of the Osun Board Internal Revenue Service, Mr Dayo Oyebamiji, commended the state government for empowering the youth through jobs creation.
Oyebamiji said Osun has always been ahead of its peers in wealth creation and employment generation as the developmental policies of the state had impacted positively in the lives of the citizenry.
He called on the newly recruited tax officers to live up to state’s expectations by championing the laid down tax principles and guidelines aimed at improving the status of the state IGR.
The Head of Training, Osun Board Internal Revenue Service, Mr Lawrence Oladapo, called on the trainees to distinguish themselves by making the board proud as revenue collectors.
Oladapo, who sued for transparency and honesty, called on the beneficiaries to be diligent to duties as being dictated by the concept of taxation.
One of the youths recruited to join the OIRS, Bimbola Ajayi told Channels Television that the move by the state government is a commendable one
“Many of us who are fortunate to be among those recruited have been without jobs for so long. So, we will ensure that we do our best, knowing filly well that we are helping to generate funds for the state government.
“We are beneficiaries of all the government is providing for the people of Osun state and tax payment is the civic duty of a responsible citizen. We will not disappoint the government,” he said.
The Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has urged NYSC members posted to Imo state to key into the government’s agricultural programmes aimed at achieving food sufficiency, job and wealth creation for the nation.
The Governor who was represented by his Deputy Eze Madumere gave this charge at the opening of three weeks’ orientation course for corps members at the NYSC Permanent Orientation camp in Eziama-Obire in Nkwerre Local Government Area of the State.
Mr Madumere noted that authorities in the 27 local government areas of the state have been directed to make farmlands available to NYSC members who have interest in agriculture.
The Deputy Governor urged the youths to take all the activities lined up for the orientation seriously, promising that government would continue to accord priority to the welfare of corps members serving in the state.
“Local government authorities in the state have been mandated to provide some piece of land to the NYSC scheme within their area for the purpose of farming. This will no doubt increase food production and sufficiency, (and) I urge the corps members to get ready to venture into agriculture and farming in a bit to improve their lives.
“I want to assure you that you will not regret your stay in Imo state as the Okorocha-led administration has utmost priority for corps members serving in Imo state. Feel free to mingle and ensure you also contribute your own quota to the development of the state within your short stay,” Madumere said
In an address, the State Coordinator of the NYSC, Mr Isaac Fashanu, commended the Imo state government for approving the construction of additional hostels to ensure the comfort of corps members in the camp.
“His Excellency has just informed me that additional accommodation hostels have been approved for us in this camp. This gladdens my heart, knowing fully well that a government like this has great love for corps members,” Mr Fashanu said.
A total of 1,545 corps members took the oath of allegiance and they are expected to be in camp for three weeks, after which they would be posted to their different places of primary assignment.
The Nigerian government says it has mobilized 200,000 youths out of the targeted 500,000 for the volunteer graduate scheme in its social investment programme.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation, Afolabi Imokhuede, was on Sunrise Daily on Channels Television, where he shared updates on the progress of the programme.
“As you know, it’s a paid volunteer programme for two years wherein they will work as teaching assistants in the public primary schools. They will work as healthcare delivery assistants in the community health centre and also as Agric Extension workers in the farms.
“We’ve done this in strong collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Heath and basically the 36 states and the FCT,” he said.
He gave a background into the Social Investment Programme and how it has been designed, explaining that asides the graduate component which is for 500,000 beneficiaries, there is also the non-graduate component which is for about 100,000 people out of which 75,000 will go for vocational jobs while the remaining will go for technology-based jobs.
He gave the assurance that contrary to criticisms, the project has been done with consideration for the needs in the states and in collaboration with the governors.
“Each state governor has given us a focal person and these are very senior persons in the level of commissioners or special advisers to them and obviously the FCT Minister also has given us a focal person.
“The states are actually going to be in charge of deployment as the demand is.
“The programme is designed such that those who are going for the ‘Teach Programme’ would go into public primary schools but some states have already started making suggestions that they may also want to deploy them to junior secondary schools but those will be up to the states,” he said.
Imokhuede noted that the programme has been designed to “speak to the needs of the economy” especially in line with the diversification efforts of the government.
This makes its collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture an important part of the scheme.
He explained that the agric extension workers would not only be trained but would also be provided with tools while a web-based training portal will be available to them to facilitate the “earn while you learn” system.
Collaboration with the private sector still remains an integral part of government’s drive to create jobs in the country and Mr Imokhuede stated that the Social Investment Programme is not an attempt by the government to take the place of entrepreneurs.
Rather, the private sector will become beneficiaries of the output on the long run.
He added that unlike the graduate scheme, the empowerment scheme which involves vocational and technological trainings would be private sector driven.
“Our private sector partners are very active. They are the ones who are actually going to provide the needed apprenticeship and work experience that these young beneficiaries would get,” he said.
The Federal Government of Nigeria has reaffirmed its commitment to diversifying the nation’s economy to reduce its dependence on oil.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, made the declaration on Wednesday at the end of the National Economic Summit Group (NESG).
He said the proposed shift from oil resources would help create jobs, reduce poverty and contribute to the nation’s socio economic development.
At the moment, the nation’s economy is in recession.
Mr Udoma explained that the government would achieve this through a synergy with members of the organised private sector.
He added that the government was eager towards diverting from its over dependence on petroleum resources to other sectors of the economy.
As the NESG meeting comes to an end, experts have been deliberating on how to improve the Nigerian economy through the patronage of locally produced goods.
One of the participants, Lanre Akinbo, is hopeful that key recommendations identified at the gathering will serve as a starting point for the successful implementation of the Made in Nigeria campaign.
The 22nd edition of the NESG meeting opened on Monday in Abuja, with participants looking to come up with strategies that would spur economic growth through heightened patronage of made in Nigeria goods and services.
The theme for this year’s summit is ‘Made In Nigeria’ and the organisers of the summit say they are looking to re-emphasise the message that the productive capacity of the Nigerian economy has to be developed as much as possible.
Need For Diversification
In his opening address, President Muhammadu Buhari said Nigeria had no other choice at the moment than to diversify its economy to break its reliance on oil.
He was happy with the theme of the summit, saying it “lies at the heart of so many of the efforts we are making to lead us through these troubled times and to lay a firm foundation for the future”.
He added that there was apparently no other way to steer Nigeria out of its present economic predicament without building a strong economic foundation on Made-in-Nigeria goods and services.
On the sidelines of the summit, the Vice Chairman of the NESG, Sola David-Borha, told Channels Television that stakeholders would discuss issues affecting Nigeria’s economy and proffer solutions that will reflate the economy and subsequently bring growth.
Mrs David-Borha, who is also the CEO of Stanbic IBTC Holdings, said the group believes that patronising made in Nigeria goods and services will spur the growth of the economy that is already in recession.
The Nigerian government has reassured local manufacturers, business owners and foreign investors that the present administration remains focused on improving the business environment.
It expresses strong belief that such environment will accelerate Nigeria’s economic growth and job creation through active private sector participation in the economy.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo gave the assurance at a forum on Job Creation, Skills and Employment at the ongoing 22nd Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja.
Professor Osinbajo said that the present administration was seriously tackling issues relating to local production, employment generation and all that would be needed to re-energise the economy that is in recession.
“We are talking practically to everyone, talking to big investors, talking to big businesses, small businesses, to youth groups that are interested in technology, talking to farmers, talking to market women and men. There is a great deal of enthusiasm. Everybody knows that this country has tremendous potential and there is so much that can be done.
“We are engaging every one of our agencies that are responsible for facilitating trade, facilitating business, they have to be up to scratch, they’ve got to encourage business. It is our business to make sure that we promote enterprise because the way to create employment is not by direct employment by government, it is by private sector being encouraged to create these opportunities, so that is our focus.
“I want to assure everyone that the government is very focused on improving the environment for doing business, increase the opportunities so that we can employ the vast majority of our young people who need employment, encourage big businesses, encourage small businesses, encourage cottage industries, that is our focus and it will remain our focus,” the Vice President stated.
A spokesman for the Vice President, Laolu Akande, said Professor Osinbajo pointed out that though there might be challenges with the present duty waivers and tax regimes, the Federal Government was working hard to correct the wrongs with the view to encouraging the growth of small businesses and attracting foreign investments.
The Vice President said government’s emphasis on agriculture and agro-businesses was premised on its agenda on diversification and self-reliance in food production for domestic consumption.
Professor Osinbajo said the enormity of the challenge with tax holidays and waivers could not be addressed by a ‘one size, fits-all’ tax holidays initiative, stressing that there were areas that the government would revisit and revise.
He said the Presidential Enabling Business Council, a special initiative of the Federal Government established by the President, in collaboration with the private sector, was looking at incentives and issues related to waivers.
The Vice President, who had spoken extensively on the administration’s economic policies on Day 1 of the Nigerian Economic Summit, also emphasised what government was doing to support funding of small businesses.
“There are complications around funding and that is why in the short term, intervention funds are what we think might work.
“We are looking at intervention funds in agriculture. We have the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme. We are resuscitating the Bank of Agriculture, and recapitalising it.
“We expect that the Bank of Agriculture and a few other banks will be able to provide some cheap funds for agriculture, we are already seeing that in the anchor borrowers’ programme.
“We also think that intervention fund in setting up areas like health, before we are able to get the overall monetary environment right, is necessary,” the Vice President told the gathering.
He said: “I am so delighted that you have chosen as your theme Made-in-Nigeria, which lies at the heart of so many of the efforts we are making to lead us through these troubled times and to lay a firm foundation for the future.
“We need to diversify the economy so that we never again have to rely on one commodity to survive as a country, so that we can produce the food we eat, make our own textiles, produce most of the things we use and create the right environment for our young people to be able to innovate and create jobs through technology”.
The President added that there was apparently no other way to steer Nigeria out of its present economic predicament without building a strong economic foundation on Made-in-Nigeria goods and services.