In a move aimed at actualising the planned social security for the teeming unemployed Nigerians, the federal government Monday [Dec. 1] said plans were underway to register all unemployed citizens across the country. The decision came amid the slow pace by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government to fulfill its campaign promise of paying unemployed graduates N5,000 as social security stipend.
The acting Director General of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Mr. Olakunle Obayan, stated this during the official handover by the former Director General, Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed. Speaking on the current template to address the challenges of unemployment in the country, Obayan said: “Actually some of them (projects) are brand new and they are coming up in 2016. We are going to tenaciously pursue the employment generation activities of NDE, and we are going to expand their scope.
“This new schemes when they come on board, are schemes such that they are going to take care of the social security issues and something that will need majority of the people to get something doing.” He stated that: Besides, we have programmes that are for the graduates of the tertiary institutions as well. We have so many programmes that have been designed such that it will improve our service delivery system.
“We are going to pursue that vigorously, we are going to start a national registration of the unemployed. That we are going to take on fully so that we will have a great idea of how many of them are around.” Obayan stated: “We have some but we are going to improve on the information we have in our data base and we are going to make sure that it is something we can access from our different locations, even if you are down in the hinterland, you should be able to do so. “We have all these things planned in place, all these will drive as soon as I settle down which is this week and you will start seeing these activities around NDE.”
Regarding funding of such programmes, the acting DG stated that “the issue of funding is something that is hindering the NDE to even do more in meeting its mandate. How are you going to go about funding so that all visions won’t waste? Being in government, so many times, you have to be conscious about what goes on in your funds from here to there. Right now, we are going into PPPs so that we can extend the mileage of our funds and how many people we can reach and several collaborations as well that we are getting into.
Some of them with the members of the national assembly, world bank, we will want to partner with DFID, ILO and so many development partners, but asides that, we try to do more in 2016 because government does not have that kind of money right now, and actually employment generation, and job creation should not be solely for government; private sectors generally, they should come on board.
“This is one of the reasons we are planning a stakeholders’ forum, where the private sector will actually know its role. It is not strictly for government, these people we train, are not only for government, they are for all.” While presenting his handover notes, Mohammed said he would leave behind an efficient workforce that had been groomed in tackling the nation’s employment crisis.