Nigeria ready to partner with Britain on job creation

By Helen Shok Jok. Abuja

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Nigeria says it is ready to collaborate with partners all over the world to open up avenues for job creation in the country.

The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo, stated this when he received the Political Counselor, British High Commission, Abuja,  Mr Dominic Williams.

Mr Keyamo also expressed the willingness of the Nigeria to work with Great Britain in tackling unemployment in the country through job creation.

He said that Government has opened up other sectors as part of efforts to diversify the economy from oil, which would in turn create room for employment.

Go back to the farm

He said part of the efforts of government to diversify the economy and boost job creation include empowering people to go back to the farm through the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, as well as activating the mines and steel sector.

“The problem of unemployment can only be solved, not through direct employment by the government, but by training people to acquire basic skills by which they can be self-employed and also employ some small workforce,” Keyamo said.

Keyamo noted that government, through the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) has been empowering many youths by training them on basic artisan skills to make them self-employed, as well as employers of labour.

He observed that empowering the youths with the acquisition of skills has also reduced the practice of importing such skills from other countries.

By curbing corruption, and diversifying the economy, government has been on the right track to creating jobs,” the Minister of State said.

The Political Counselor, British High Commission Abuja, Dominic Williams, sought ways through which Britain could assist Nigeria in its efforts at job creation.

The Minister of State met with members of the African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council (AU-ECOSOCC), led by its Representative in Nigeria, Dr Tunji Asaolu.

Passion about job creation

He told the group that President Muhammadu Buhari’s  passion about job creation and the Federal Government’s willingness to work with development partners in creating jobs for Nigerians cannot be over emphasied.

In a related development, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, has said that job creation and youth employment are part of the top priorities of President Buhari’s next level agenda.

The Minister stated this when he received members of the Pan African Youth Union, led by Mr. Niyi John.

Keyamo noted that unemployment was one of the major problems facing youths in the African continent adding that the social vices experienced in the society could be attributed to youth unemployment.

“There is the problem of insecurity all over Africa and this problem cannot be caused by youths that are much older in terms of age or gainfully employed.

“There is no way the youth that is gainfully employed even as an artisan will have time to engage in kidnapping, terrorism, armed robbery, banditry and other social vices.

“The thinking here in the Ministry of Labour and Employment and this Government is that the issue of youth employment and job creation should be top on our agenda and that is why Mr. President has decided to strengthen the Ministry and its Agencies, especially the National Directorate of Employment (NDE).

“There are a lot of programmes under the Ministry and its Parastatals that are basically aimed at empowering our youths by making sure that they acquire basic skills to enable them survive on their own”, the Minister said.

The Minister also corrected the misconception by the general public that the Ministry of Labour and Employment provides only white collar jobs to people, “that is not what the Ministry is aimed at achieving. We want to make sure that our youths acquire skills that would make them entrepreneurs and even employers of labour”, he stressed.

He then enjoined the Youth Union to generate a data base of youths with skills that the Federal government could use to identify youths to train and empower, and by doing this government would have met the objectives of the Union.

The leader of the delegation, Mr. Niyi John, said the aim of their visit was to seek partnership and working relationship with the Ministry and pledged the Union’s readiness to work with the Federal Government in the area of creating jobs and employment for the Nigerian youths.

Lateefah Ibrahim