1.8 m youths enter job market yearly – Minister
About 1.8 million Nigerian youths enter into the job market in the country annually, the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, has said.
Speaking yesterday at the opening of the Global Distance Learning Institute in Abuja, the minister said the 1.8 million people are in addition to the 5.3 million backlogs of the unemployed people.
According to her, the present administration attached significance to the issue of job creation, adding that the government was targeting youths and women in its employment programmes.
She said that out of the 1.8 million new entrants, about 1.6 million of them used to get employed annually, leaving only 200,000 unemployed.
She said the jobs were created through the You Win programme, Agribusiness and other projects implemented through private sector involvements.
She said: “Some people will come out and say the government is not working, but the government is working, I know that feeling, we feel the pain, there is no parent in this country that will be happy to see his child went to university and come back without job, and sit down at home, no body. We really understand the way young people feel, and we are dedicated, even for those who lost their lives in the Immigration recruitment, I said the best way to honour their memory is to create jobs and more jobs.
“But don’t discourage government, if the employment has not reached you yet, by God’s grace it will reach you. We must be focused, if we start getting diverted by those who are saying nothing is being done, it is not true.
“If you have 1.8 million unemployed people and you created 1.6 million, at least, you have hope. Just keep moving.”
According to her, the GDL Institute is there to boost the capacities of the young Nigerians in order to find better lives ahead.
She said government alone cannot create all the jobs needed, calling for private sector participation.
The GDL Institute, Abuja, is an affiliate of the Global Development Learning Network (GDLN).
The GDLN affiliates are designed to collaborate in holding events that connect people across countries and regions for learning and dialogue on development issues, along with collaboration with best-in-class institutions around the world to offer various training and skills development courses.