The Federal Government would drive its job creation initiatives with the skills acquisition centres built by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has said.
The Minister, who disclosed this recently in Kaduna while delivering a keynote address on the occasion of the NDE special day at the 37th Kaduna International Trade Fair, lauded the contributions of the Directorate to generation of employment in the last 30 years of its existence.
He stated that the 76 the vocational skills development programme of the NDE would be maximally utilized towards job creation for the unskilled and unemployed Nigerian youths.
He added: “Using the already exiting 76 NDE skills acquisition centres nationwide, and those of other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government including states, the vocational skills development programme of NDE will be strengthened to provide employment opportunities for the teeming unemployed Nigerian youths.”
Dr Ngige stressed that the era of white collar jobs is gone, it is the duty of all stakeholders including government to re-create the blue collar job which entails manual activities in the farm, mines and construction sites, and the pink collar jobs which entails services provision by those who have the requisite skills in painting, tile and marble laying, electrical wiring, advanced mechatronics for automobile repairs, information communication technology services, including GSM repair and garment production amongst others.
Ngige added that his ministry collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to play a significant role in the diversification of the nation’s economy using Agricultural Skills Training Centres and Agricultural Parks operated by the Directorate across the nation to develop pool of agriculture-based businessmen and women.
Speaking further, the Minister emphasized that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to ensuring that every facet of the Nigerian economy receives adequate attention in order to contribute maximally to the economic diversification initiative of the Federal Government.
He explained: “In our quest to realize the set goals of our economic diversification, adequate planning has been made in the development of the critical sectors of the Nigerian economy, particularly in the agricultural, manufacturing, solid minerals exploitation and tourism amongst others. On mining we will partner with the ministry of solid minerals to convert the so called illegal miners to a formal group for decent work.”
Earlier in his remarks, the Acting Director General of the NDE, Kunle Obayan revealed that a total of thirty thousand seven hundred and seventy four persons who passed through the various vocational skills acquisition programme of the directorate are now contributing to national development.
He charged Nigerian youths to embrace skills acquisition for self-sustainability.
“I wish to use this opportunity to encourage all unemployed persons to acquire a skill and also take steps to become self-employed through the practice of such skill, as the Federal Government has demonstrated its commitment to job creation through the various skills acquisition programme of the National Directorate of Employment.” Obayan said.