Unemployment threatens Nigeria’s top 20 global economies target

Unemployed youth

There are palpable fears that increasing rate of unemployment could jeopardize Nigeria’s dream of joining the rank of top 20 leading economies in the world any time soon.

At a forum organized by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment recently, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Prof Stephen Ocheni stated that the economic growth rate to make Nigeria one of the top 20 world economies by the year 2020, and the robust goals of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) cannot be achieved if a significant number of the productive population remains unemployed or underemployed.

Ocheni who delivered a keynote address at a one-day consultative meeting on the ‘Resilience of High Unemployment Rate in Nigeria’, expressed concerns that the Ministry of Labour and Employment is particularly concerned about the high unemployment among graduates and unskilled persons which together form over 80 per cent of unemployed persons in Nigeria.

Ocheni called on stakeholders to support government’s efforts at combating the menace, saying: “I have no doubt in mind that this gathering of experts in various segments of the employment subsector. Although provision of enabling environment for employment generation fall under the purview of the Federal Government, we need extensive partnerships and collaborations with our stakeholders to cover more grounds.

“We seek your views as experts in the field, on how to rapidly reduce unemployment in Nigeria. The unemployment situation in our country demands commitment and dedication from each and every one of us because the consequences of joblessness among our youths affect us all.”

He noted President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has made giant strides in policies and programmes that favour job creation with huge investments in works, housing and power sectors, the National Social Investment Programme and the Agricultural Anchor Borrower’s Programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria, among others.

Hopeful that the issue of unemployment would soon reduce, the ministry’s Director, Special Project Unit, Dr Martina Nwordu said with the on-going increased capital utilization such as N-power programme and other empowerment programmes being implemented by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), there would be an improvement in the short and medium term.

In this article:
ERGPNDEStephen Ocheni
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