By Appolos Christian
The unemployed Nigerians have been urged to take advantage of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) employment creation programmes to become self-employed.
The Honourable Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo, made this call in his message to the NDE Special Day at the just concluded Enugu International Trade Fair. Keyamo, who was represented at the occasion by the Acting Director-General of the agency, Mallam Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo, explained that the Federal Government has put in place several policies and programmes to create mass employment opportunities for the unskilled and unemployed in Nigeria.
The Minister commended the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA) for consistently organizing the annual business gathering, noting that Trade Fairs are veritable platforms for encouraging business growth.
He added that the theme of the Fair tagged “Promoting New Technologies, Business Ideas, and Strategies for Rapid Economic Growth and Development in Nigeria” is in tandem with the policy thrust of the Federal Government aimed at reviving the economy after the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier in his welcome address, the acting Director-General, represented by Mr Alfred Hoomlong, Director in charge of Inspectorate Services,stated that about 96,000 unemployed youths and women were recruited and trained in various vocational skills by the NDE between January 2018 to date.
He stressed that a total of 13,000) graduates of vocational skills had been resettled with basic equipment and start-up capital.
The Acting Director-General added that the Directorate collaborates with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through the bank’s Agricultural, Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) about 5,000 NDE trained persons in agricultural skills per state would be able to access loan packages from CBN.
Speaking concerning the ongoing Extended Special Public Works (ESPW) Programme, the NDE Chief Executive explained that the programme is designed to provide temporary jobs for beneficiaries who will receive a monthly allowance of N20,000.
The projects being executed, according to him, are Environment specific and include Infrastructure rehabilitation/maintenance, traffic control, street and sweeping. Dignitaries at the event inspected the NDE pavilion. Many successful beneficiaries of various programmes of the Directorate exhibited their goods and services.