Senator Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, has restated the commitment of the Federal Government to job creation for the citizenry.
Ngige said this during the inaugural meeting of the Board of the National Directorate of Employment on Wednesday in Abuja.
The minister called on the NDE to expand its skills acquisition programmes in order to reduce the nation’s unemployment index.
According to him, NDE is a multipurpose vehicle whose mandate is anchored on creating varying programmes to ginger creativity, skills acquisition and self-reliance.
He said: “The whole essence is to create a sustainable mechanism for job creation through skills development paradigm capable of producing a self-dependent generation of Nigerians.
“That is who will not only empower themselves but also transfer the skills and replicate jobs.”
He, however, noted that paucity of funds has hampered such an ideal.
He added that NDE as of today is not well funded. If it were to be rich, its mandate centring on training and equipping of trainees, empowering them with loans to set up their own businesses like carpentry, tailoring, metal fabrication and welding, computer-based technology, mechatronics among others would be easy.
Ngige said: “But that’s not to say the NDE is not doing its best within the limit of available resources.’
He, however, said 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 noted that the public sector which the government controls was not expected to give more than 20 per cent of jobs in a well-structured economy.
Ngige further said that part of the mandate of the NDE included the comprehensive national data on unemployment.
He, therefore, called on the NDE to work in alliance with the National Identity Card Commission, who was currently creating a Single Data Base for the entire country.
Earlier, Dr Nasiru Ladan, NDE Director, said that his focus was to streamline the operations of the agency for easy actualisation of its objectives.
He decried the high rate of non-compliance among the beneficiaries of its loan scheme programme, but promised that the agency would continue to encourage women cooperative societies across the nation.