Government committed to youth employment, says Udoma
The Federal Government is committed to its youth empowerment programmes and is considering adopting capacity to create jobs as one of the criteria for offering government contracts and assistance.
Budget and National Planning Minister, Udoma Udo Udoma, who gave the indication at a forum with members of the 25th Regular Course on Policy, Strategy and Leadership of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) in Abuja, said the Federal Government views the unemployment situation in the country with great concern.
Consequently, it has made job creation one of the major objectives of its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
A statement by his Media Aide, Akpandem James said the plan was aimed at creating jobs by developing labour-intensive sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, housing and construction while also launching a number of public works programmes and encouraging private-sector participation in the economy.
Government, he said, was developing infrastructure in sectors with the capacity to create demand for labour and would sustain the N-Power programmes, as well as continue to support small scale enterprises to maximize their potential for job creation.
He added that there are other policies to encourage job creation, including apprenticeship programme, supporting and patronizing Made in Nigeria Initiative to encourage local manufacturing.
To further give impetus to the drive, he said government would give necessary support to institutions that focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics as a veritable foundation for building a knowledge-based economy.
He pointed out that the bulk of the job creation initiatives would prioritize youth as beneficiaries and is being pursued through direct job creation by the Federal Government and those created in the informal and formal sectors by the private sector, and skill-building programmes.
Udoma emphasised that government would no longer give incentives to private investors on the basis of intentions but of results; and that the driving principles would depend on how many jobs would be created, how much value would be added to the economy, the quality of goods produced and how much foreign exchange they could generate.