The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has expressed worry over the level of unemployment and underemployment in Nigeria, especially among the youths who are ready to work but unable to secure jobs.
The minister who was speaking at a Job Fair organised by GIZ in Abuja noted that the present government had established several job creation program with the target to reduce the alarming unemployment rate.
“This event is as a result of the cordial and fruitful working relationship between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Federal Republic of Germany. Am also happy that this event aligns with the cardinal aspirations of this administration of Muhammadu Buhari. The aspiration aims at decreasing youth unemployment creating decent job opportunities for our teeming youths.
“Let me look at the statistics, the statistics which are not very pleasant, Nigeria has a population of by projection, 200 million persons, out if this 200 million persons, above 20 per cent are unemployed, if you increase it, you can get up 25 to 30 per cent,” the minister said.
Dr Ngige, therefore, said: “this statistics is very worrisome, and the government today want to place emphasis on job creation.
“The issue of youth unemployment is still a persisting scourge which I believe all of us need to put our hands together and know what we can do. We thank the German government for their cooperation in this respect.”
He, however, urged GIZ to extend the Job Fair to all the 6 geopolitical zones in the country, pledging the assistance of the ministry to ensure Nigerians living in the grassroots were carried along.
In his remarks, the Cluster Coordinator of Sustainable Economic Development, and the Head of Programme, Skills Development for Youth Employment (SKYE) Mr Hans-Ludwig Bruns said the job fair was targeted at bringing together employers and potential employees in order for them to network.
“The job fair today helps bring employers and potential employees closer together. It is put together to avail Nigerians the opportunity to practice interviews to seek advice on the curriculum vitae to be equipped with skills for the corporate world, and to network with employers.
“We are happy to welcome more than 110 companies today who came with over 500 job vacancies that need to be filled. We are happy to welcome more than 1000 Nigerians that made their way to this place,” Mr Bruns noted.
The Deputy Chief Mission, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Mr Helmut Kulitz said the German government has series of programs in Nigeria which is targeted at creating jobs and wealth in different sectors of the economy.