According to an official, no fewer than 41,161 graduates have benefited from the Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS) of the Federal Government and supervised by the Ministry of Finance.
The scheme’s facilitator in Ogun, Abubakar Orumah, made the disclosure to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) during an interview.
Mr. Orumah said that 60 participants graduated from the programme in Ogun on September 3 after 12 months of internship and were presented with certificate by the Ministry of Finance.
He said the certificate was in recognition of the participants’ skills during the programme.
According to him, the scheme is initiated by government to assist young graduates to become employers rather than seeking for job.
“So far, 41,161 graduates have benefited from the scheme with 68 per cent males, 31 per cent females and 1 per cent vulnerable.
“Over 35,000 have exited the scheme, with thousands of them having secured jobs; many have secured credit facilities and grants to expand businesses they set up using GIS stipends.
“Many have set up cooperative associations, some of which have transformed into SMEs.
“The programme presents an opportunity for graduate interns to gain employment in organisations where they worked and in other establishments or self-employment,” Mr. Orumah said.
He noted that the scheme had demonstrated high prospects for job creation and social protection of the youth since its inception.
He also said that Nigerian youth had proven that no amount of pressure, threats and inducement could derail their resolve for change when they were focused.
He commended the public, private and non-governmental organisations that had over the years demonstrated their commitment to Nigerian youth by agreeing to partner with the scheme and host graduates for 12 months.
Mr. Orumah urged the graduates to join hands with the government to achieve its task of national development.
He assured that government was working hard to ensure that unemployed graduates acquired skills which would make them employers of labour.
He said: “As long as thousands of graduates still remain unemployed, I assure you that government will continue to improve the capacity of the scheme to absorb more applicants.
“My hope is that the GIS will be yet, another example that Nigeria will sell to the world as a way out of graduate unemployment.
“It is also my hope that some years down the line, the GIS interns will galvanise different sectors, especially the non-oil sectors, which are the new focus of the Nigerian economy.”