FG gears up to tackle Unemployment, begins creation of Job Centers

The Federal Government said it has commenced creation of Job Centers across the 774 LGAs of the Federation in a bid to tackle unemployment nationwide.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ms. Kachollom Daju, made this known to members of the Labour Correspondents Association of Nigeria (LACAN) who visited her in Abuja at the weekend.

Deju disclosed that already, 16 job centres have been set up in some parts of the country, including the FCT, Abuja noting that it is part of the Federal Government's plan to lift 100 million Nigerians out of Poverty by 2030.

"It’s not just the Federal Government, the private sector is intended to play a big role in lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2030 because we cannot all be dependent on the government.

"The private sector has a special responsibility. And for this reason, the government has demonstrated that for the development plan, a particular percentage is a significant percentage of what is required to guarantee that infrastructure, jobs, and everything else are handled by the private sector. I am aware that the private sector will be crucial to achieving this.

"We'll collaborate, because the Ministry of Labor has a variety of departments and agencies that deal with employment skills. As you are all aware, and as of late, the purpose of the Labour Market Information System, which we are releasing for public awareness, is to ensure that data is gathered.

"Additionally, we're going to enhance job matching through the Nigerian Electronic Labour Exchange, which has already existed but which we're only going to enhance in terms of matching job searchers with positions.

"The ministry is improving that and making sure that hopefully, I don't want to give a specific date but I know that we are, but it has been going on but evidently many Nigerians are not aware of that.

"We currently have about 16 and we intend to establish job centers in all 36 states, Abuja, and the 744 Local Government Areas. This was first done in the 2022 Budget.

"As a way for the government to equitably assist, we want additional job centers established in the 744 Local Government Areas and the states."

She said that the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), one of the ministry's organizations, was established to see to it that the government's ongoing issue with the informal sector was properly addressed.

According to Daju, the NDE had a variety of programs that affected everyone and reduced employment as a result.

"You have schemes that are only for women, solely for women, you have agric skills, you have mature people skills, and they are trained in various different vocational skills all over the country," she said. "You don't just have programs for the youth.

"You truly have a rural infrastructure, where roads are created and hospitals are maintained, and many other things like that. You have bead making, mechanic training, and so many other other things.

"A significant portion of the population works in the unorganized sector, and the National Health Insurance Act, which was recently approved, mandates that insurance now extend to this sector as well. This is all part of what the government is doing."

"The artisans who haven't been able to take care of themselves or their families when they are sick will also benefit from being able to visit the hospitals and receive medical attention.

"NSITF (Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund) which is part of the Ministry of Labour, has Employment Compensation Act, where anybody who has an accident at the place of work is compensated and paid a certain amount, depending on how much they have been doing or how much you earn and they have been doing that.

"They have actually taken the bill before the National Assembly, where it will be improved upon and better things will come to the citizens and we are hoping and praying that the National Assembly will be able to pass the bill in time as it will make it easier for employees who are supposed to pay one percent to the fund.

"All employers are expected to pay one percent to NSITF which is part of the Employee Compensation Act.

"I would say government policy to reduce poverty by 2030 is real, to cut down youth unemployment.

"The statistics can speak for themselves and this actually is multi-sector and it cuts across all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies."

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