The National Directorate of Employment (NDE), is planning to create over 40,000 new jobs to reduce the problem of huge unemployment gap by the end of the year, the NDE Acting Director-General, Kunle Obayan has said.
This, according to Obayan, is in line with President Muhammadu Buhari administration efforts, as it battles the current economic challenge facing the country. He said the NDE, being the country’s flagship job creation agency is already thinking outside the box to ensuring that the current diversification policy of the Federal Government achieves the twin benefit of food security and job creation.
In a recent interview, Obayan stated that the country is currently facing the twin problem of massive youth unemployment and high food importations; but he added that President Buhari has made job creation a cardinal part of his administration.
Obayan pointed out that the NDE under his leadership is already seeking modern innovations to tackle the menace of youth unemployment through various training schemes.
In April, the job creation agenda of the present administration received a massive boost with the empowerment of over 4,000 Nigerians across 17 states of the federation under the vocational skills development Programme of the NDE.
A breakdown of the figure showed that in each of the 17 states, 30 persons were directly empowered with varying range of equipment such as sewing, weaving and hair dressing machines, computer and generator sets, plumbing and welding set of tools, as well as sets of mechanic and vulcanizing tools.
Another set of 220 graduates who were previously trained, not empowered, but are already practicing their skills also received cash life line to support their businesses. This, according to the acting DG gives a total of 250 beneficiaries, which in 17 states amounts to over 4,000 persons benefiting from the Artisans Resettlement and Mentoring Scheme (ARMS), CBTS and other resettlement scheme of the NDE.
Also in September, over 200 Katsina women began training under the NDE in various income generating scheme. The scheme which is a collaborative effort with Future Assured, the pet project of wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, will be replicated in the six geo- political zones of the country, with another set of 200 women to soon commence training in Lagos. This means that at least 1200 women will be trained under the scheme.
He pointed out that the hard work of the Directorate over the recent past is now paying off, with over 40, 000 new jobs and small scale businesses expected to be injected into the economy by year’s end.
Most of the jobs, Mr Obayan explained are linked with current economic challenges and will help beneficiaries to be self employed and create wealth.
He explained that two beneficiaries of the NDE training scheme are set to produce pencils and toothpicks, two commodities that have cost the country annual importation of millions of dollars.
Obayan said, “in the next few months, we are going to commission some landmark projects from two of our beneficiaries. One is the production of toothpick, which is the first of its kind in Nigeria. We have a beneficiary that is setting up a toothpick manufacturing plant and we are going to commission it next month.
“The other one is pencil. We don’t have anybody that does that in Nigeria. We import all our pencils. And we have a beneficiary who has set up a plant to produce pencil. The beauty of this pencil is that it is actually made out of waste paper. It is not from wood. So, it is from waste to wealth. We will also commission that next month.”