The Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige today advocated for a shift from reactive and temporary measures to curbing the menace of rising unemployment as job creation policies and programme must anticipate future labour market requirements rather than reacting to it.
The Minister expressed this position in Abuja today while inaugurating the National Employment Council and unveiling the revised National Employment Policy.
According to him, “in coordinating implementation of strategies to fast-track employment creation, we must bear in mind that such strategies are most likely to be successful if it anticipates future labour market requirement rather than reacting to them. We have to move away from past approaches where strategies for employment creation and poverty alleviation were a response to a crisis or a temporary measure to mitigate the impact.”
While noting that unemployment is a global challenge, Ngige observed that Nigeria like other nations need to make concerted efforts towards curbing the menace adding that the concern is even more urgent due to the association of youth idleness to perennial violent crimes in the different parts of the country which poses a threat to socio-economic stability.
Inaugurating the council, Ngige said the task before it is formidable; he, however, expressed confidence in the ability of the Council to come up with the solution that will in the medium and long-term reverse the current alarming trend of unemployment.
“The task before this council is formidable. However, with the calibre of members of this Council, which is made up of renowned experts, practitioners and policymakers in the field of development and employment promotion, I have no doubt in my mind that you have what it takes to proffer solutions that will ultimately halt and in the medium and long-term reverse the current unemployment situation in the country.” He said
Earlier in his address, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Bolaji Adebiyi affirmed that unemployment, underemployment and poverty are critical challenges that will require the concerted efforts of all stakeholders to address.
Speaking further, Adebiyi emphasized that it was in a bid to holistically address the unemployment crisis that the National Employment Policy was formulated with the aim of consolidating into an integrated and coherent document, a beacon for the attainment of full employment for all Nigerians, particularly the youths.
The National Employment Council Members whose membership was provided for in the National Employment Policy comprises of representatives of Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Federal Ministry of Finance, Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Federal Ministry of Youths and Sport Development, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Federal Ministry of Education, Federal Ministry of Works, Power and Housing, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, Central Bank of Nigeria, National Bureau of Statistics, National Universities Commission, Nigerian Institute for Social and Economic Research, Industrial Training Fund, National Directorate of Employment, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, Special Assistant to President/Vice President on Job Creation, Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress, Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria and Human Capital Providers Association of Nigeria