Vice President Commends ITF & NECA on the Work done on Skills Acquisition
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the 9th Presidential Quarterly Business Forum held at the Statehouse Banquet Hall on Monday on Job Creation said: “Federal Government has spent N1.7 Trillion in Capital Investment in two Budget Year.
The VP emphasized the need for Skill Training and placing a large number of young people in the workplace. He, however, commended the commitment of participants who by way expand the work done by ITF and NECA on Skill Acquisition. He said: “These take into account the need to provide real value to the Private Sector through the ITFScheme and where necessary develop optimal incentives to support the Private Sector. It will be important that we commit to constituting sector skills councils and encourage the development of these councils for various sectors, especially sectors we have identified as being of priority for job creation.
He further stated ” We are convinced that by investing in Infrastructure, which the present Government more than any other Government in history is engaged in, will crack Job problems. We have spent so far in two budgets, N1.7 Trillion in Capital Investment, that is the largest in the history of the country despite earning 60% percent less. We are doing more with fewer resources” he said.
According to the Vice President, Job creation has been a priority of President Muhammadu’s led administration as the only way to create jobs was by enabling the Private Sector to do business easily.
“Opportunities are created in agriculture and the agro-allied industry, services, manufacturing, among others. But we realized that, that would not solve the immediate problems of thousands of graduates who have no jobs or the millions who are at the bottom of the trading pyramid barely eking out a living. This, we believed created a compelling argument for direct intervention by government,’’ he said.
In an overview of the economy, Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udo Udoma, said that under the Social Investment Programme, N500 billion was allocated annually to take of the poor and the vulnerable in four clusters. He listed the clusters as Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) in which 308,737 loans had been successfully disbursed to 4,084 cooperatives across 36 states and FCT. Others are Conditional Cash Transfer in which 297,973 persons were supported with cash transfers of ₦5,000 each in 217 LGAs across 20 States and 2,530 community facilitators trained.
Senator Udoma also listed the N-Power Programme which engaged 200,000 persons in its first batch in October 2016 and 308, 389 in its second batch in August 2018.
Afolabi Imoukhuede, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Job Creation and Youth Employment, Office of the Vice President, in a presentation, said that Nigeria’s youthful population was an advantage. “We strongly believe that by tapping into our youthful demographic edge through large-scale and appropriate skills development, we will improve the prospects of economic growth and social inclusion,’’ he said.
The forum was attended by NECA, who was represented by its Director-General, Mr. Olusegun Oshinowo, Private Sector operators and Government Officials from relevant agencies.