Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, put the figure of unemployed persons in the state at about 1.68 million.
He lamented that many of them are wallowing in poverty in the rural communities.
He said that young productive youths, between ages 15 and 29 constituted the population, with about 944,000 persons between 20 and 39 years.
Lalong disclosed this yesterday during a one-day sensitization forum on business enabling environment climate, held at Government House Rafield, Jos, Plateau State.
“Nigeria as a country that has been battling with the challenge of how to accelerate poverty reduction among its ever growing population.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NGS) information shows that poverty and unemployment characterize Nigeria’s current economic and social institutions with about forty percent of the potential working population being either unemployed or underemployed.
“Sixty percent of these unemployed or underemployed youths are young people, falling between ages 15 to 29 years. Plateau State with a population of about 4.2 million people out of Nigeria’s 2018 estimated population of about 196 million has the estimated population of about 1.68million people representing 40% as either unemployed or underemployed.
“This raises an economic emancipation alarm which any responsible government must explore avenues of deliberately addressing, especially when about 944,000 people out of this unemployed or underemployed category fall within the active family age grade of 20 to 39 years margin in the state.”
The governor encouraged Ministries, Departments and Agencies to identify best practices that will strengthen inter-ministerial collaboration and eliminate the unnecessary bottlenecks associated with inter-ministry rivalry, which usually frustrate quick interest of potential investors in the economy.
“I appreciate the German International Development Cooperation Team (GIZ) and their field staff in the GIZ-SEDIN project, who are here today and have committed themselves to providing the platform and support for the promotion of economic growth and enhancing income generation for the poor.
“This is why we find the intervention of the GIZ-SEDIN which seeks to within the context of her operation, help in identifying and exploring employment and income opportunities through the promotion of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in selected sectors of the economy of which Plateau has comparative advantage in the Agricultural Project focus of the GIZ, very commendable.
“MSMEs play an important role in driving economic growth and are capable of absorbing this category of people who fall within the very wide gap of unemployed and underemployed.
This is why we established the Plateau State Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (PLASMEDA) which we are strategically using as a platform, to deal with issues that have over the years hindered the potential of the State to gainfully provide for the employment and economic self reliance of our teeming youth and unemployed citizens.”
He said his administration is conscious of the fact that by Government Actions and Inactions, Investors can either be encouraged or discouraged which make them look quickly to rival States that doing business is easy.
“We are very conscious of this in our current drive to get the State out of her current economic woes. The more we work towards making our environment friendly for Investors, the more Investors we are able to attract; the more investors we are able to attract, the more jobs we able to create, and the more revenue we will be able to generate; so we can deliver on the dividends of democracy.”