Government Programmes Have Created About Eight Million Jobs, Says Ngige


The Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr Chris Ngige says government programmes have so far created about eight million jobs through agriculture and vocational skills training.

He said that rice production has created new groups of millionaires in Nigeria.

The Minister, a guest on Channels TV Sunrise Daily on Wednesday, decried the responses given to blue collar jobs by youths in the country.

“We did food security arrangements, tackled agriculture. The government went into agriculture, started encouraging farmers.

“Government programmes have yielded a lot of fruits if you go to the Agric belts of Nigeria; Kano, Jigawa, Katsina, Anambra, Enugu, Ogun, Kebbi states. Rice production created a new group of millionaires, the farmers.

And there is the backward integration of the rice mills, jute bag manufacturers and the rest of them all, a lot of jobs have been created numbering about 8 million now,” he added.

READ ALSO: Doctors Are Free To Leave Nigeria Because We Have Surplus, I’m Not Worried – Ngige

He said that the government had embarked on advocacy, promoting blue collar jobs.

“We did advocacy and told people not to look at white collar jobs, there are blue collar jobs, skills. You have to train your hands, you have to do plumbing, carpentry, tailoring.

“We have a mini in collaboration with the state government, we send people to the skills centre to train them and people come in there as an apprentice and after we finish with them, we empower them. But the problem is that how many people are ready to come here and train?

“The responses to the programmes are low, they regard those jobs as unbefitting to people’s status, but it is not true.”

NEPC To Bridge Vocational Skill Acquisition Gap

nepcSkill gaps in vocational activities is one of the concerns that the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), is giving some attention.

According to the council’s Director General, Mr Segun Awolowo, the role of the commission is to assist in fixing this deficit.

Mr Awolowo explained that 75 candidates have just been trained in fashion designing, through the African Growth and Opportunity Act.

According to him, 25 of them have also been given automatic employment through a Public Private Partnership Programme.

The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is a United States Trade Act, which was enacted on May 18, 2000, as Public Law 106 of the 200th Congress.

The Act offers tangible incentives for African countries to continue their efforts to open their economies and build free markets.

Vice President Osinbajo Explains FG’s Economic Plan  

OsinbajoThe Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, says the Nigerian Government will keep working and applying necessary measures to improve the economy.

Speaking to Channels Television’s Chamberlain Usoh in an exclusive interview, Prof. Osinbajo said that a special protection programme aimed at addressing unemployment will be implemented.

The government has emphasized the importance of mobilizing domestic revenue to enable significant spending on social investment to the extent that 10% of the budget is going to be used for social protection programmes.

These will include training for 500,000 teachers, micro-credit scheme for 300,000 market women and several other youth empowerment programmes.

“Our youth employment is very crucial. We think that for graduate employment, the direct creation of jobs – the 500,000 teachers – will address some of that concern but for those who are not graduates, we are looking at investing in that also substantially.

“How we intend to do that is by this youth employment scheme,” he said.

Investment in infrastructural development has also been identified as a key component to economic growth and our correspondent sought to know what kind of attention the Federal Government was paying to this.

Prof Osinbajo said, “That’s why we are spending so much money on infrastructure and that’s power. We are going to spend a lot of money on power. If you look at our whole capital spend in this (2016) budget, it is directed at ensuring that we are able to improve the economy significantly.”

With the country’s revenue profile taking a hit because of the dependence on oil, the VP said that one of the critical sectors for Nigeria is the agro-allied value chain which the Buhari administration wants to also improve significantly.

“If you look at rice for example, we are looking at milling and how we can ensure that there is more investment in silos storage and also in milling.

“It is important to us that Agriculture is not a government business and what is crucial is that we create an environment and bring in private partnership.”

Professor Osinbajo also stressed that the cash transfer promised during the campaign of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was meant for the poorest in the society and not for the unemployed people, as popularly believed.

Osinbajo Clears Misconceptions About Promised 5,000 Naira Stipend

Yemi-Osinbajo-Nigeria-Vice-PresidentNigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, says contrary to the misconceptions about the Conditional Cash Transfer, the scheme is well thought out and will cater for thousands of unemployed youths.

In an exclusive interview with Channels Television at the Presidential Villa on Wednesday, Professor Osinbajo stressed that the cash transfer promised during the campaign of the All Progressives Congress was meant for the poorest in the society and not for the unemployed people, as popularly believed.

“There is a bit of misrepresentation of what it is.

“Some people have suggested that we are giving 5,000 Naira to unemployed young people. No!

“What we are doing for young people, graduates and the unemployed is the teachers’ scheme as well as the vocational training,” the Vice President explained.

He stressed that the government was looking at other aspects of social investments that would tackle the youth employment situation in Nigeria.

“Youth employment is very crucial, especially because we know now… with all of the percentages of out of school graduates and undergraduates who have been out of school for a while and have no jobs.

“We think that for graduate employment, a direct creation of jobs and the ‘Teach Nigeria’ scheme that will employ 500,000 teachers, will address some of that concern,” he told Channels Television.

Professor Osinbajo further stated that the government was also looking at addressing the challenges of those who were not graduates.

“We are looking at investing in that also substantially and how we intend to do that is by this youth employment scheme that will involve a lot of training in vocational skills, entrepreneurship, business methods and all of that,” the Vice President stated.