FG steps up war on employment crisis
By Victor Ahiuma-Young
ONE of the crises confronting the Nigerian nation is the seemingly intractable employment crisis which experts and many social commentators warn that it is a time bomb waiting to explode. In fact, many have attributed the upsurge in crime rate across the country to the army of able-bodied idle minds that have indeed become the devil’s workshops all over the country.
While concerned bodies like Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, NECA, has been playing their part to finding solutions to the problem especially through skills acquisition and upgrading of skills through technical training, the Federal Government which through the National Directorate of Employment, NDE, among others, now seems determined to up its efforts at addressing unemployment.
Giving this hint was the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, who explained that President Muhammadu Buhari is poised to achieve significant reduction in unemployment rate in the country through the construction of new skills acquisition centres as well as completion and rehabilitation of abandoned centres.
Ngige spoke during the ground-breaking ceremony of the Federal Specialist Skills Acquisition Centre, FSSAC, in Ifitedunu, Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra State.
According to him: “The good news is that the Federal Government is assiduously working towards achieving a significant and sustained reduction in the high rate of unemployment in the country, within a short and medium time frame, through well-articulated strategies which include the construction of new skills acquisition centres, completion and rehabilitation of abandoned and dilapidated centres across the country.”
The Minister emphasized that the focus on vocational skills acquisition as a strategy to combat youth unemployment was predicated on its successful deployment by both developing and developed nations to stem the tide of unemployment and trends in modern labour market demand for a developing nation like Nigeria. Ngige noted that the specialised skills acquisition centres were also designed to provide hands-on skills in modern building and construction, including welding and fabrication to produce metal doors among others.
“We are focusing on skills acquisition because of the trends in modern labour market demands for a growing country like ours. With a huge housing deficit of 17 million and with the estimate construction of 1000 housing units in each of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria has the potential of creating over 3 million jobs in a year with huge multiplier effects. Countries like America, Britain and Canada are reported to have recorded 70 to 80% contributions to their Gross Domestic Products through housing and construction sector, this is achievable in Nigeria,” Ngige added.
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