ABUJA – (Labour & Employment Ministry Report) – The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige has re-stated the commitment of the Federal Government to job creation for the citizenry, with a call on the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) to expand its skills acquisition programmes, in order to reduce the nation’s unemployment index.
Ngige disclosed this recently in Abuja during the inaugural meeting of the Board of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE).
Addressing the occasion, he said NDE is a multipurpose vehicle whose mandate is anchored on creating varying programmes to enhance creativity, skills acquisition and self-reliance.
“The whole essence is to create a sustainable mechanism for job creation through a skills development paradigm, capable of producing a self-dependent generation of Nigerians, who will not only empower themselves, but transfer the skills and replicate jobs,” the Minister said.
Ngige regretted that the noble idea was being hindered by paucity of funds. Adding, NDE as of today is not well funded. He indicated that if it were to be rich, its mandate anchored on training and equipping of trainees as well as empowering them with loans to set up their own businesses such as carpentry, tailoring, metal fabrication and welding, computer – based technology, mechatronics among others would be easy. He later stressed that this is not to say that the NDE is not doing its best within the limit of available resources.
Speaking further, the Minister revealed that it was impossible for the Government alone to be charged with job creation as the private sector either alone or in liaison with the government has a huge role to play. He emphasized that the public sector which the Government controls is not expected to give more than 20% of jobs in a well-structured economy.
He iterated that part of the mandate of the NDE is included in the comprehensive national data on unemployment and enjoined it to work in alliance with the National Identity Card Commission, which is currently creating a single database for the entire country.
Remarking earlier, the Director – General of the National Directorate of Employment, Nasiru Mohammed Ladan re-echoed the mandate of the NDE and inferred that his focus was to streamline the operations of the agency for easy actualization of its objectives. He decried the high rate of non-compliance among the beneficiaries of its loan scheme programme, but assured that the agency would continue to encourage women cooperative societies across the nation.