THE Director-General, National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Mallam Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo, has reiterated its commitment to crushing the high rate of unemployment and its hideous consequences to the larger society through various sustainable job creation and empowerment programmes.
Fikpo who stated this while reeling out some of the achievements of the directorate at the NDE’s Day at the just concluded Kano International Trade Fair, reassured of the unrelenting efforts to conquer the menace.
“In the last one year, we have made significant impact in job creation and employment generation nationwide. Apart from the benefits of the recently concluded Extended Special Public Works (ESPW) programme which has positively affected over 800,000 families nationwide, the NDE has consolidated on this gain by providing several exit strategies designed to ensure that the beneficiaries do not relapse into the labour market.
“Towards the end of the year 2021, the Directorate was in Delta, Plateau, and Bauchi States where well over 3,000 youths and women groups were empowered and resettled with various starter packs to kick-start their businesses. We were also in Katsina State early this month for a similar exercise where 1,000 people were empowered. We desire to skill up the entire country and empower all willing Nigerians to be self-employed.
“It is also worth mentioning that the NDE just recently disbursed N100,000 per person to 3,996 beneficiaries of Agricultural Enhancement Scheme (AES), Sustainable Agricultural Development Enhancement Scheme (SADES), Graduate Agricultural Enhancement Scheme (GAES), and the Community Based Agricultural Enhancement Scheme (CBES). This year, we have renewed the loan exercise and it is currently ongoing in many states of the federation to bring more youths into commercial agriculture.
“Let me assure you that the NDE will continue to emphasise entrepreneurship development. Our determination in this regard is founded on our conviction, just as the theme of this year affirms, that most developed nations of the world did not achieve economic prosperity because of the large corporations that exist therein, but through the small businesses in the informal sector that employ the majority of the populace. It is for this reason that the NDE encourages the establishment of small businesses which have the potential to end up as big entities.”
Also in his keynote address, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, who is also Chairman of the NDE Board, and its Supervising Minister, Festus Keyamo, said, “ I am aware that the NDE has trained and empowered thousands of Nigerian youths and women across the country and produced blue collar jobs. I have witnessed various NDE programmes under which young men and women were exposed to entrepreneurial and skill acquisition opportunities designed to equip them with critical skills required to successfully set up and run private enterprises to stimulate the economy.
“Just last month, we were in Katsina State where 1,000 trained youths and women groups were resettled with various kits to kick-start their businesses. Similar exercises have taken place in Delta, Plateau, Bauchi and a few other states. I want to use this medium to assure you that the NDE empowerment exercise will take place nationwide.”