The Federal Government on Monday unveiled fresh plans to create about 20 million new jobs in four different sectors of the economy.
The strategy was disclosed in Abuja by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, at a stakeholders’ meeting on job creation.
The minister said that with the huge level of unemployment in the country, it had become imperative to come up with a pragmatic approach to creating jobs for the people.
He said the ministry had directed the Industrial Training Fund to come up with innovative solutions to create 20 million jobs in four sectors of the economy in the next four years.
The sectors, according to the minister, are agriculture, transportation, services and construction.
Enelamah, who was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Sunday Akpan, said the need to focus on the sectors was borne out of the conviction that they held the key to the diversification efforts of the Federal Government.
The minister said with the huge contributions of the sectors to the Gross Domestic Product of the Nigerian economy, it had become imperative to explore their job creation potential to reduce the level of unemployment in the country.
He said, “In order to sustain and build on the successes recorded in this regard in the first tenure of Mr President, we are articulating and strategising with a renewed impetus towards combating the twin evils of unemployment and insecurity.
“It is on this basis that the ministry charged the Industrial Training Fund to come up with revolutionary multi-faceted job and wealth creation strategies that would lead to a lasting solution to this hydra-headed problem.
“From the report that I have received, the ITF has been able to propose pragmatic strategies that within the tenure of the next level, will generate about 20 million jobs from four key sectors of the Nigerian economy.
“These key sectors are the agriculture, construction, transport and the services sectors.”
The Director-General, ITF, Joseph Ari, said that the report of the National Bureau of Statistics, which had put the total number of unemployed Nigerians at 20.9 million as of the end of the fourth quarter of last year, had necessitated the need to act fast in tackling unemployment.
He said, “Today, all across the country are needless incidences of violence, criminality and social vices perpetrated by persons that ordinarily should be contributing significantly to the development of our dear nation.
“This is even as others that should be earning sustainable livelihoods today are barely able to eke out a living.
“The number that is without jobs in our country is at once scary and staggering and should be a source of worry to any administration that is as committed to the welfare of Nigerians as the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.”
The ITF DG said while the current administration was implementing a number of policies to create jobs, such measures needed to be complemented by the private sector for the economy to feel the desired impact.
He said, “It must be noted that the President Buhari’s administration has made tremendous efforts to create jobs as could be seen in the increases in the number of people employed as cited by the NBS report.
“Today, across the length and breadth of the country are visible pieces of evidence of the Federal Government’s efforts to get Nigerians engaged.