The Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo, on Sunday, said Nigeria’s economic situation is not worse when compared to elites nations in the world that suffered the COVID -19 pandemic.
Keyamo said this at the inaugural meeting of the National Directorate of Employment Board held in Benin City.
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“Countries that are more viable economically have not been able to wriggle themselves out of the economic crises occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and, in trying to survive, they have further plugged themselves into huge debts but in the case of Nigeria, its government has been able to weather the storm without borrowing much.
“Many nations are collapsing all over the world leading to social unrest here and there but Nigeria is still managing its affairs very well”.
According to the minister, the rate of unemployment has moved from 26 per cent to 33 per cent, saying ‘the only solution to cushion the effects of unemployment is for the Nigerian populace to learn a skill’.
Keyamo stated, “After the COVID pandemic, unemployment has risen to about 33 per cent, it was about 26 per cent before then. So, all agencies of governments are geared toward skilling up and empowering the population to ensure that they are self-employed. It is the only way out of the unemployment crisis in Nigeria.
“There is no way we can create spaces within public institutions to employ Nigerians and clean up the unemployment market.”
He, however, charged the NDE to think of ways to deliver better services to Nigerians, as the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress government is desirous of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.
Earlier, the DG, NDE, Mallam Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo, appealed for an increase in budgetary allocation to the body in order to meet up with its demands.
He said allocation increase is very critical as NDE has been receiving almost the same budgetary allocations and insufficient release of funds since 2004 despite the geometric increase in the rate of unemployed persons with its attendant socio-economic implications.