Nigeria needs nine million jobs yearly to combat unemployment – German Govt

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Ms Birgitt Ory, German Ambassador to Nigeria

By Tony Obiechina Abuja

The Government of Germany on Tuesday delared that Nigeria needed to create nine million jobs annually for ten years to close the gap of unemployment in the country.

This is even as the government has pledged its willingness to continue to partner Nigeria to create decent jobs for the citizens.

German Ambassador to Nigeria, Ms Birgitt Ory represented by Ms Susanne Schurtz stated this at a National Conference on Employment Promotion organised by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment in collaboration with German Development Cooperation (GIZ) and International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Abuja.

According to her, the German government had been responsible for fostering creation of employment especially for women and young people, adding that it did this through training and sustainable growth for good jobs; supporting an enabling environment for the private sector; and support the reintegration of returning Nigeria migrants.

In her remarks, Country Director, GIZ, Ms Ina Hommer pointed out that “this is the largest assistance package that the German government is offering Nigeria.”

She however noted that climate change has become a problem to the entire Global community creating job opportunities in agricultural sector.

In his keynote address at the conference, Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, said the unemployment figures as highlighted by the report of the national bureau of statistics was a Clarion call to action by all to work towards the reduction of unemployment.

The Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Yerima Tarfa called for understanding and support from unemployed Nigeria youths and development partners, as the nation was working towards reducing unemployment.

Stressing the need to revamp the skill centres across the country and making them accessible to Nigerians, Tarfa said a significant number of workers were engaged in the informal sector, noting that “these people should also have the decency of working.”

He said: “students, job seekers, entrepreneur and trade unions need information to properly represent their members. Therefore all hands must be on deck to make accurate employment information available to all who needs it for decision making.

“We must eliminate the cumbersome nature of starting a business. Some start ups are killed barely after starting because of the unfriendly environment ocassioned by multiple taxes. The environment should be made friendly for people to be able to start their businesses and grow them.”

Delivering a goodwill message, NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba said there was the urgency on how to create jobs that would prevent the young people from leaving the country to seek greener pastures abroad.

He said: “Unemployed youths have become a tool in the hand of others for destruction. Every youth has the right to a descent Job. The employment plan must be dynamic to accommodate all. There is the need to pay attention to vocational training. No meaningful development can take place in an unsecured Environment.

“The government should work at improving the security situation in the country as there is no development in an unsecured clime and unsecured clime cannot experience development.

“The unemployment and underemployment of 33.3%, making Nigeria, the second highest on the global list, is not impressive. This means that More than half of labor force are either unemployed or underemployed. By numbers, 69.7 million able-bodied nigerians either do nothing or work for less than 20 hours per week which makes them underemployed. By implication, less than half of nigeria’s labour force is fully employed.”

The two-day National Conference themed, “Addressing the Challenges of Unemployment and Reintegration at National and Sub National Levels in the Post COVID-19 Era: Impact and Policy Response,” ends on Wednesday.

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