THE Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, has called on Organised Private Sector (OPS), to collaborate with the Federal Government in its effort at addressing the menace of youth unemployment in Nigeria.
Addressing a breakfast session at the ongoing National Economic Summit (#24) in Abuja with the theme, “Multi-Sectoral Roundtable on Job Creation and Skills Development in Nigeria” the minister stressed the urgent need to create a job to address the serious problem.
Ngige said: “There is urgency for job creation and the need for synergy in the process because stakeholders have been working in silos with duplication of efforts and thin result. Let us start the talk and action today by mobilising resources for job creation. The Federal Government and Private sector must come together to drive this process of job creation for our teeming unemployed youths and move Nigeria from the path of poverty to prosperity.”
Speaking further, Ngige emphasised the need for a paradigm shift in approach to job creation as the current efforts may not be sufficient to create the jobs needed to gainfully engage over 80-million workforce, the majority of who are either unemployed or underemployed.
“With over 80 million workforces, the majority of who are unemployed, we have to do something radical, the narrative must change. School curriculum must change to include new and emerging skills. Education is power but it is useless when it is not in the right direction. We, therefore, must collaborate to solve this problem,” the minister said.
In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Mr Laoye Jaiyeola, stated that individual efforts would not produce the much-needed result on job creation as each organisation is doing something in bits and pieces.
“We have resolved at the Nigerian Economic Summit Group that we must put these individual efforts together to achieve results. It is a journey that we all have to walk together,” he said.
The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, expressed the readiness of the Commission to partner with organisations and groups to transit Nigeria into a knowledge-based society, thereby facilitating a knowledgeable economy.