The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) is to inject 490,000 new jobs into the country’s economy in the next three years through the Smart Farmer ICT Application scheme.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, who already launched the new scheme in Abuja, said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government had worked out various quick-win interventions to tackle the menace of mass unemployment in the country.
The minister said that the scheme was part of the deliberate efforts by the NDE to complement the efforts of Buhari at fighting unemployment and providing the much-needed impetus to revive the economy.
He said: “A combination of productive activities in the agricultural sector and ICT will surely make our journey towards repositioning agriculture as one of the corner stones for sustainable national development a reality.”
Also speaking during the launch, acting Director General of NDE, Kunle Obayan, disclosed that one of the factors that militated against previous attempts at putting agriculture in the driver’s seat of the national economy had been the inability of policy implementers to get young Nigerians sufficiently and committedly involved in agriculture as a viable business.
He expressed optimism that the ICT-driven concept would encourage young Nigerians to get involved in agricultural activities.
He said: “The economic recession we are currently experiencing is indicative of the fact that we have not succeeded in our quest to give agriculture its pride of place.