Massive job creation
agenda of the Buhari
administration received
a quantum boost
Friday, April 15, 2016
with the simultaneous
empowerment of over
four thousand Nigerians
across seventeen
states of the federation
under the Vocational
Skills Development
Programme of the
National Directorate
for Employment, NDE.
The experience of our
immediate past, where
such declarations were
often found to exist
only in the pages of
newspapers has no doubt
grown many doubting
Thomases among the
populace. However,
this era of change
appears poised to make
the needed difference.
The breakdown of
this figure, which by
our own standard is
huge, therefore clears
every scepticism. In
each of these seventeen
states, 30 persons were
directly empowered
with varying range
of equipment such as
sewing, weaving and
hair dressing machines,
computer and generator
sets, plumbing and
welding set of tools, as
well as sets of mechanic
and vulcanizing tools,
while another set of 220
graduates who were
previously trained, not
empowered, but are
already practicing their
skills also received cash
lifeline to support their
businesses. This gives a
total of 250 beneficiaries,
which in seventeen
states amounts to over
four thousand persons
benefiting from this
Artisans Resettlement
and Mentoring Scheme,
ARMS, of the NDE.
In Anambra State
where the Hon.
Minister of Labour
and Employment, Sen.
Chris Ngige graced the
occasion in the company
of the State Governor,
Chief Willie Obiano,
represented by his
deputy, Dr. Nkem Okeke,
the significance of the day
was established early by
the Minister. Said he “
the Federal Government
through the Ministry of
Labour and Employment
is leaving no stone
unturned in providing
decent and sustainable
jobs for Nigerians. I am
therefore highly elated to
be part of this ceremony
which is simultaneously
taking place in 17 other
states of the Federation.”
He added, “those of us
charged with the task
of creating jobs for the
teeming unemployed in
Nigeria have long put
our thinking caps and
today’s event is just one
of the products of our
efforts. In the next two
months, the second phase
of this exercise would
have been carried out
with over two thousand
eight hundred businesses
being generated across
the country.”
He further revealed
that the NDE has in the
last one month recruited
and trained one thousand
eight hundred and fifty
persons around the nation
under the Community
Based Training Scheme CBTS. Acknowledging the
critical role agriculture
plays in development,
especially at a time,
the nation is shifting
emphasis from crude oil,
the Minister divulged that
three hundred and seventy
newly trained agricultural
entrepreneurs under
another NDE scheme
termed, “Commercial
Farmers Training Project”,
have already received
soft loans amounting to
Thirty-seven million naira
to start agro-business in
each of the state of the
federation. He further
added that though “ Teach Nigeria,” one of the
conditional cash transfer
programmes of the
administration was yet to
take off, the NDE already
had a complement in
Graduate Coaching
Scheme which has as
of today engaged over
five hundred graduates
with qualifications in
education as WAEC/
NECO/JAMB instructors
in designated centres
across Nigeria.
For the Director General
of the NDE, Mr. Kunle
Obayan, the event
was an open window
into his efforts at the
Directorate and he was
elated. The plan to
create mass employment
opportunities for
unskilled and
unemployed Nigerians by
the Buhari led government
has started fully. After
this event, 30 new small
scale businesses would
have been injected into
the economy of Anambra
State, while 220 already
existing small scale
businesses would have
received shots in the arm
to forge ahead,” he said,
assuring further that
trainees in the remaining
18 states and the FCT
would soon benefit from
the programme.
Clearly, there is no doubt
that the empowerment
programme of the
Directorate has suffered
abuses in the past,
knowing that some erring
beneficiaries did sell off
the starter packs given to
them. To guard against
this and make sure that
the efforts of government
are not sabotaged by
unpatriotic elements,
a monitoring team was
put in place to ensure
Though some critics
have argued in a section
of the media, that there
is nothing new on the
emphasis by the Minister
of Labour on blue collar
jobs, insinuating that the
NDE has all along been on
that. Such critics however
fell short of appreciating
the ocean of difference
between the hitherto
lacklustre performance
of the agency, and
the energized efforts
and results which the
Minister has brought
in line with the Change
agenda of the present
administration. For
example, the regional
training centres of the
NDE, some of whom have
been dormant are being
revived to take not less
than 3000 skills trainees
at a session. While the
Labour Ministry has reestablished
liaison with
other ministries and
state governments to
first, have a census of all
existing training centres
scattered across the
federation, rehabilitate
the dilapidated. Also,
anchoring a functional
synergy for efficient
running of the centres,
towards awarding
trade certificates which
shall be internationally
recognized. This is a firm
step towards the blue
skills export programme
of the ministry, under
which qualified
Nigerians would work
abroad and earn decent
living. Nigeria has
already secured strong
promises from the
government of United
Arab Emirate and Qatar
in realization of the
project. To further buoy
the accomplishment
of the development,
the Ministry is
already partnering the
International Centre
for Migration Policy
Development, ICMPD,
on development of
migration survey
instrument meant
to facilitate related
knowledge and database
for good policy and
effective administration.
The Minister recently
met a team of experts
from ICMPD.
Nwachukwu is the
Special Assistant,
Media to the Hon.
Minister of Labour and

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