We Created 195,534 Jobs in 2012 – FG

The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku on Wednesday said a total of 195,534 jobs were generated in 2012 by the Federal Government via several contracts awarded by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

The Minister disclosed this at the end of the weekly FEC meeting.

He said, “In 2012, the Federal Government generated 195,534 new jobs from the various contracts awarded by the FEC. It is the practice that ministers must say how many jobs they will create through contracts before they are approved by the council.”

He said 212 cases of industrial disputes were referred to the Ministry of Labour and Productivity under its arbitration role. 25 of these cases are going for arbitration while efforts aimed at resolving 114 cases were still ongoing.

According to Mr Maku, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu proactively engaged with labour unions thereby averting many trade disputes that could have cost the government heavy economic losses.

Similarly, the ministry also embarked on skills acquisition in favour of workers and labour leaders to create skills needed for amicable resolution of conflicts, indicating, however, that inadequate funding militated against many of its efforts.

This is also the lot of the FCT which is indebted to contractors to the tune of N420 billion over an unspecified period of time.

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Muhammed said lack of adequate funding continued to slow down the administration, necessitating its partnering the Ministry of Finance to work out ways of floating bonds after establishing a sound framework so that the debts could be paid.

He said, “We have challenges of finance but we have developed robust business plan. We are heavily indebted to the tune of N420 billion. That is why we are leveraging on Public Private Partnership (PPP). Eight districts will be developed through land swap.

“I have craved the indulgence of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and she has agreed, and the council has noted our recommendation to float an FCT development fund that we can float bond after we have established a sound legal framework with the establishment of FCT revenue board that we can task to float that bond so that we can pay our debt and do new projects and programmes.

“We are also planning to concession the airport and Kubwa roads. Our major goals is to provide efficient framework for the FCT and ensuring framework for waste management is our priority for this year.

“We are also maintaining a robust relationship with security agencies and neighbouring state governments on security.”

World Bank budgets N4.8 billion for youth employment in Nigeria

The World Bank on Tuesday said that it has budgeted $300 million (equivalent to about N4.8 billion) for Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) scheme in Nigeria.

Marie-Francoise Mariel-Nelly, Country Director of the World Bank in Nigeria disclosed this in Abuja at the 53rd Annual conference of the Nigerian Economic Society (NES).

“We are preparing a Youth Employment and Social Support operation (YESSO) aiming at supporting the provision of immediate work opportunities and skills development for unemployed youths and women from poor households,” she said.

Ms Mariel-Nelly said increasing youth employment was one of the bank’s global priorities as it had observed that one in five of all new job seekers in Africa were Nigerians.

“The $300 million project will cover all parts of the country in up to 20 states,” she said.

She said that the World Bank with support from the EU would launch the State Employment and Expenditure for results project (SEEFOR) in the Niger Delta region.

She said the aim was to take youths off the streets as well as improve the country’s infrastructure.

According to her, ACCESS bank had demonstrated commitment to opening employment opportunities for graduates of Information Communication Technology through target training in core competencies benchmarked to global industry standards.

“The bank provides matching grant as seed money to empower young farmers to adopt new technologies and acquire capital assets, which they use to undertake a wide range of value addition and small-scale income generating activities,” she said.

She said youth unemployment was a threat to social and political stability as was evident in the youth restiveness in the Niger Delta.

Ms Mariel-Nelly said the bank would continue to support government efforts to address the challenge of unemployment in the country.