Over 15m Nigerians Currently Unemployed: Minister Confesses

Chris Ngige
Chris Ngige

Chris Ngige, the minister of Labour and Employment, has stated that over 15 million Nigerians are currently unemployed and looking for white-collar jobs as a means to an end.

According to the former governor who made this known while fielding questions from newsmen in Enugu, he added that procedures are underway to address the unemployment challenge across the country.

He further stated that Nigerians are lucky to have somebody like President Muhammadu Buhari adding that if not, we all would have dispersed into neighbouring countries.

“Unemployment is growing into a very vicious disease condition that has given rise to a lot of anti-social behaviour. And the government is seriously worried because if we don’t confront unemployment head-on with many measures which we are fashioning now, then the whole country will be consumed with social unrest.

“The symptoms are there. Boko Haram is a symptom of unemployment in Nigeria. IPOB is a symptom of unemployment and desperation and people getting frustrated.

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“Same goes for banditry in the north-west. Same goes for kidnapping all over the country — north-west, north-east, north-central, south-east, south-south and south-west.

“Avengers — the destruction of pipelines, OPC, all these are symptoms of very serious underlying disease condition called unemployment.

“We are doing something, but I think what we are doing is not enough. Government has used diversification into agriculture to fight unemployment. Yes, it was successful where people agreed to turn themselves into farmers.

“We have also used ad hoc procedures like N-Power programme. It is like a drop of water in the ocean. We have employed through that process 500,000 people, about half a million. But we have those searching for white-collar jobs in the neighbourhood of about 15 million.

“So, we have to do something — to teach people new vocations, new skills, so that not everybody will be going for white-collar jobs. Even if you have a university degree, you can be taught some skills so that you employ yourself or even get employed somehow. So, we are going to do that or it is on the table.

“We were lucky President Muhammadu Buhari came in. If not, we would have all dispersed into neighbouring countries. We would have had social unrest that would be internecine and by now, we would not have solved it. So, we are on with our thinking caps.”

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