Published by Oladipo Abiola on 17 November 2021
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige has declared that more efforts need to be implemented in providing job opportunities for the teeming population of Nigerians.
The Minister said though the government has been taking some steps, it’s obvious that enough is not been done.
He called for the collaboration of developed countries and international development institutions in ensuring youth unemployment is tackled appropriately in Nigeria.
The Minister identified insecurity as a major challenge militating against appropriating financial resources towards tackling unemployment.
According to him, if the government is able to spend half of what it spends on fighting insecurity on tackling unemployment, the scourge will be greatly reduced.
Ngige made the submissions on Monday in Lagos while inaugurating an upgraded electronic platform, called National Electronic Labour Exchange Centre, aimed at minimizing the challenges facing job seekers.
He also inaugurated the Migrant Resource Center and Nigerian German Center for jobs, migration and reintegration.
In his words, “We need to solve the problem of unemployment from the roots. Inasmuch as we know these are things we have been doing, we have not done enough and we need to do more.
“The money we use in fighting insurgency, and buying bullets, and aeroplanes, if we spend half, we can stem poverty, unemployment and violence from the roots.”
He added, “In Nigeria with our population, we have 90 per cent of the young population. For me, that is the greatest danger; it has already started showing symptoms and signs.
“There is violence, insecurity, banditry ravaging all of Africa; Nigeria now is getting its turn of the madness. For me as minister, while I thank the German government, ILO, and European Union, we need to do more.
“The Nigeria government is doing their own thing; we need more synergy, we need your funding to meet the people and stop them from even thinking of migration. Sometimes, they pose a menace, especially if they don’t have skills, but those who have skills, we need to regularise them and make them legal migrants and residents in your country.”
The Consul General of Germany in Lagos, Dr Bernid van Munchow-Pohl, noted that youth unemployment is high but reiterated the commitment of his country in working together with Nigeria to solve the problems.
He said: “Youth unemployment is high. I am happy to note that during the German-Nigeria negotiations, a total of approximately 100 million euros was committed by my government.”
He added, “Through the Returning to New Opportunity Program implemented, 5,200 Nigerians have found employment, 500 of which are returnees from Germany. Also, 1,700 Nigerians and about 400 of them who are returnees from Germany have benefitted from business startup support.
“These results would have never been achieved without the migrant resources centres in Abuja, Benin, Lagos and the Department of Wages and Employment.”
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