The increasing youth unemployment can be tackled speedily when critical stakeholders increase the level of collaboration between them, the Acting Director General of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Kunle Obayan has said.
Speaking at the 38th edition of the Kaduna Trade Fair in Kaduna, Obanya explained that now is the time for Nigerians not only to encourage the growth of local business initiatives as a tool for boosting the economy and create jobs for youths, but also be active participants in job creation efforts.
While calling for collaboration between public and private sectors, Obanya insisted that government alone could no longer effectively shoulder the burden of employment creation within the globalisation context.
He therefore called on all other stakeholders to support the Directorate in resettling beneficiaries of its programmes, as it can no longer provide start-up materials for its trainees.
He said: “It is now imperative for all categories of the unemployed to embrace the great opportunities for self-reliance as presented in all states of the federation through the National Directorate of Employment. Let me equally re-affirm the commitment of the NDE to the continual provision of innovative employment creation models that will always compliment the micro economic policies of the Federal Government.
“The challenge of mass unemployment as it affects Nigeria calls for the active collaboration of government at all levels and indeed the private sector. Government alone cannot effectively shoulder the burden of employment creation especially under the current economic situation facing the nation. In the NDE, collaboration towards employment creation is a model that we keep fine-tuning in order to meet the ever-changing dynamics of mass unemployment. I am glad to state here that our collaboration with other stakeholders in the employment sector is yielding the desired results and we remain committed to expanding the scope of our operations in this regard.”
Explaining the reason behind its participation at the trade fair, Obayan said trade fairs and exhibitions generally remain veritable channels through which beneficiaries of the Directorate are exposed and can gain valuable access to the business world where both known and latent opportunities abound.
He added: “Our participations in trade fairs over the years also underscore the commitment of the Federal Government to job creation and employment generation.”
Speaking on some of the measures NDE has taken in the last one year to create jobs, he said in the last one year a total of 12,457 unskilled and unemployed persons have benefitted from the various employment creation initiatives of the Directorate.
Providing more insight, he said: “It has completed the frame-work for the online registration of unemployed persons in Nigeria and will soon provide telephone hotlines to aid its Service Delivery System (SDS). The NDE has developed a new concept of agricultural practice and production that is strategically designed to take agriculture from subsistence farming to a more rewarding and profitable agri-business level with value addition. A few months ago, the Smart Farmer (NDE REMIS), which is an ICT platform, was launched. The platform is expected to create 490,000 jobs in the next three years.
“It is a comprehensive web and mobile platform which will be used as a portal for collecting, analysing and sharing data related to agricultural activities. Still in the area of agriculture, the Directorate recently disbursed the sum of N1.3 million to 60 young farmers drawn from 12 states of the federation under the pilot phase of the Commercial Farmers Training Project (CFTP).”