NDE to train 185,000 youths for ac­cess to agric loans

Business a.m. - - NIGERIA FRONTIER MARKETS - Ben Eguzozie, in Port Harcourt

THE NA­TIONAL DIREC­TORATE OF EM­PLOY­MENT (NDE) says it will soon be­gin a ba­sic busi­ness re­fresher course for some 185,000 un­em­ployed per­sons wish­ing to ac­cess the Cen­tral Bank of Nige­ria’s (CBN) Agribusi­ness Small and Medium En­ter­prises In­vest­ment Scheme (AGSMEIS) loans na­tion­wide.

At least 50 per­sons per state would be trained un­der the Sus­tain­able Agri­cul­tural De­vel­op­ment Train­ing Scheme (SADTS).

Nasiru Mo­hammed Ladan Ar­gungu, the direc­tor gen­eral of Na­tional Direc­torate of Em­ploy­ment said in Umuahia, Abia State, dur­ing the flag-off and ori­en­ta­tion of 2018 En­vi­ron­men­tal Beau­ti­fi­ca­tion Train­ing Scheme (EBTS) pro­gramme.

He said that be­fore long, the trainees would cre­ate jobs which, through mul­ti­plier ef­fect, would cre­ate sev­eral other jobs, thus im­pact­ing on the real sec­tor of the econ­omy.

The pos­i­tive jobs in­ter­ven­tion plan by the NDE comes against the back­drop of the not so cheery news that unem­ploy­ment has con­tin­ued to soar high in a coun­try of over 190 mil­lion peo­ple, peak­ing at 18.8 per cent by the end of the third quar­ter of last year, ac­cord­ing to data from the na­tion’s statis­tics agency, Na­tional Bu­reau of Statis­tics (NBS).

The NBS said labour force pop­u­la­tion in­creased to 85.1 mil­lion quar­ter-on-quar­ter by quar­ter 3 of 2017, up from se­cond quar­ter’s 83.9 mil­lion.

The num­ber of peo­ple within the labour force who are un­em­ployed or un­der­em­ployed in­creased from 13.6 mil­lion and 17.7 mil­lion re­spec­tively in Q2 2017, to 15.9 mil­lion and 18.0 mil­lion in Q3 2017. To­tal unem­ploy­ment and un­der­em­ploy­ment com­bined in­creased from 37.2% in the pre­vi­ous quar­ter to 40.0% in Q3 2017. But Ar­gungu said un­der the Vo­ca­tional Skills De­vel­op­ment (VSD), 11,100 youths and women would be trained in quick-win de­mand driven skill sets na­tion­wide; an­other 1,200 in Ad­vanced Na­tional Open Ap­pren­tice­ship Scheme in 24 states and the Fed­eral Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory; 650 in school-on-wheels in 13 states and 25,900 to be trained in cos­me­tol­ogy na­tion­wide.

He said the is­sue of youth unem­ploy­ment has been of grave con­cern to the gov­ern­ment the Buhari ad­min­is­tra­tion, which made him to con­tin­u­ously de­mon­strate his de­ter­mi­na­tion to em­power youths through ar­tic­u­lated pro­grammes and sus­tained sup­port to fed­eral agen­cies that have con­sti­tu­tional re­spon­si­bil­ity of em­pow­er­ing youths and cre­at­ing job op­por­tu­ni­ties.

The use of skills ac­qui­si­tion to build em­ploy­a­bil­ity is cru­cial for at­tain­ment of the Eco­nomic Re­cov­ery and Growth Plan (ERGP), he said, adding that in us­ing skills ac­qui­si­tion as tool for em­ploy­a­bil­ity and poverty re­duc­tion, wealth would be cre­ated, and a sure path to sus­tain­able na­tional growth and de­vel­op­ment.

“The Na­tional Direc­torate of Em­ploy­ment, NDE has over the years suc­ceeded in pro­mot­ing de­cent em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties to the teem­ing Nige­rian pop­u­la­tion. The direc­torate has been a prin­ci­pal bene­fac­tor of Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment at­ten­tion to­wards dis­charg­ing its man­date for cre­at­ing jobs and its man­date lies strate­gi­cally in us­ing train­ing fol­lowed by re­set­tle­ment as a tool to em­power youths with mar­ketable skills and or ad­dress­ing skills mis­match aris­ing from the ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions, hence pro­mot­ing de­cent em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, ei­ther self or wage em­ploy­ment,” Ar­gungu said.

He said most re­cently, the NDE had en­gaged 50 per­sons per state un­der the EBTS, with the aim of re­duc­ing unem­ploy­ment and poverty to its barest min­i­mum and en­thron­ing self-suf­fi­cient and sel­f­re­liance among the Nige­rian pop­u­la­tion.

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