By Appolos Christian
The National Directorate of Employment (NDE), has reiterated its commitment to doing the business of job creation for the teeming unemployed Nigerians.
Recounting its mandate as the apex agency of the Federal government, the Director General of the Directorate, Mallam Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo, who was represented by Mallam Sani Maiwada at the just concluded 42d Kaduna State International Trade Fair, stated equivocally that “the Directorate had placed high premium on creating sustainable jobs and income generating activities for women, youths and vulnerable members through its various training programmes such as Rural Employment Promotion, Special Public Works, Small Scale Enterprises, vocational Skills Development departments and other Special Intervention Programmes.
The NDE DG went on to explain that; “Presently, the NDE has over Eighty (80) of such centres spread across the country. This arrangement complements the master craftsmen and women who are operators in the informal sector are also engaged to impart skills to privileged unemployed youths across the country.”
He also said; “From January 2018 to date, over ninety-six thousand (96,000) unemployed youths and women were recruited and trained in the art of cosmetology and other skills. As part of our effort to reduce jobless, a total number of thirteen thousand (13,000) graduates of the cosmetology trainees have been resettled with basic necessary equipment and start-up capital. It is the desire of the Directorate to resettle more graduate trainees as soon as we get funds from the government.
“In the bid to ensure that the majority of its trained beneficiaries have access to start-up capital for their businesses, the Directorate is collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through its Agric, Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS). About five thousand (5,000) NDE trained persons in agricultural skills per state would be able to access loan packages from the CBN.
“The NDE is also playing a vital role in the Skills for Jobs (S4j) component of Youths Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO). This is a tripartite arrangement between the World Bank/Federal Government and the States that is domiciled and implemented in NDE.
“The Scheme which started with seven (7) states of Bauchi, Kogi, Niger, Ekiti, Oyo, Kwara and Cross River State, additional nine States which comprises; Osun, Ondo, Yobe, Borno, Taraba, Adamawa, Gombe, Abia, Kebbi and Sokoto were included in the programme. The States have concluded training and the trainees are being resettled by the World Bank directly.
“In the past three decades (3) the NDE has been in the business of creating sustainable jobs and income generating opportunities for women, youths, disadvantaged and vulnerable members of the society.
“The Directorate has over the years, vigorously pursued to achieve its mandate through series of employment generation programmes and has also remained focused and proactive in sustaining the fight against unemployment by promoting self-employment initiatives in the context of the vision of the National Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration which expresses itself in inclusive and sustainable growth, job creation and investing in youth empowerment.”
Earlier, the Minister of State Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo (SAN), represented by Mr Sunday David Apakasa, stated that “it is high time the locally incubated industries are adequately patronized and given necessary support to deliver on the expectation of the Nigerian masses. We must acknowledge that the world acclaimed multinational of today started as small scale industries before they attained enviable heights.”