The NDE was established in 1989 and empowered by the National Directorate of Employment Act N0. 24 to carry out the following functions:
a. Design and implement programmes to combat mass unemployment.
b. Articulate policies aimed at developing work programmes with labour intensive potentials; and
c. Obtain and maintain a databank on employment and vacancies, in collaboration with other government agencies.
NDE was established to combat high unemployment in the country as a result of the Structural Adjustment programme during the economic downturn of the 1980’s. The NDE developed quick interventions to meliorate the hardship experienced by the citizenry and averted related social consequences of unemployment through various programmes.