The Federal Government has partnered the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) to reduce unemployment in the country.
The government said it plans to engage stakeholders and the AfDB in a round table discussion on youth employment and skills development.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, disclosed this at the inauguration of the multi-sectoral task team on public-private roundtable on youth employment and skills development on Tuesday in Abuja.
Dr. Ngige, who was represented by the Minister of State, Prof. Stephen Ocheni, said the round table would have a rich private sector participation due to the widely acknowledged higher potentials for job creation by the sector.
He said: “The Federal Government, in continued efforts to respond to the unacceptable situation and reverse trend, has therefore, entered into partnership with the African Development Bank Group to engage a broad-spectrum of stakeholders in a Roundtable discussion on Youth Employment and Skills Development in Nigeria.
“The work of the team would key into the aspiration of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the present administration and also boost the rate of attainment of the relevant Sustainable Development Goals in the country.”
The minister said Nigeria was yet to harness its population potential through productive engagement.
The Senior Director for the AfDB, Ebrima Faal, said only 77.55 million of Nigeria’s 85.08 million labour force are engaged in some sort of economic activity.
Represented by, Abdullahi Imoru, he said: “Of the 85.08 million of Nigeria’s Labour force, 77.55 million are engaged in some sort of economic activity. This leaves out 7.53 million people doing absolutely nothing (NBS report).
“Nigeria has to realize the potential of its youths, create jobs for them or support them to create jobs for themselves; hence the critical importance of entrepreneurship. Hence the key role of the private sector.
“In 2016, The AfDB adopted a Job for Youth in Africa Strategy, with the goal to create 25 million jobs and equip 15 million youth in Africa with employable skills in ten years. From 2016 to date, the Bank has invested over $400 million in both public and private operations that will promote jobs for the youth in the country”
The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote said: “Although the Federal Ministry of Labour has the mandate to create the enabling environment and coordinate activities on job creation and skills development in the country, we recognize the fact that employment matters are cross cutting in all the sector of the economy.”