Unemployment: FG To Launch Labour Statistics System — Ngige

Federal Government has revealed that its plan to launch a labour statistics system where unemployed Nigerians at home and abroad, could apply for available jobs.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, who made the known while speaking with labour correspondents in his office, noted that in the United States of America, the Department of Labour issues labour statistics, which are vital statistics needed for tackling unemployment.

He said: “But it hasn’t been funded in the time we’ve been here. You also don’t blame them. Everyone wants to build bridges and airports and then leave.

But they forget that with labour statistics and matching, you can fight unemployment. With that, you know who is where at any given time. And people abroad, especially those with specialities, who want to come back, can enter that system to know where to apply for jobs.”

Ngige assured that the system will come up in the next month or two at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, for an official launch in two months.

He recalled that his ministry had earlier established a labour exchange system for merging and cross-matching labour supply and demand in the country.

He added, “In our electronic labour exchange system, both people who are looking for work and recruiters can enter the system, where we merge and match them. We do what is called ‘cross matching’, and people are gainfully employed. This is the facilitation of employment.”

Furthermore, Ngige stated that his ministry has become involved in some international projects with foreign partners, which Nigeria has not previously done, and that the American government is putting up a grant for women and children in Nigeria and Liberia for the first time.

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“For children, they are doing that to stop child labour. You know that child labour is a form of poverty. People who ask their children to go to mines are looking for money from those miners. The same is true for hawking. While others are in school, children are hawking on the streets,” he added.

“They are in the streets hawking to make ends meet. The same goes for cocoa plantations. We are fighting child labour. The American government has agreed to assist us. We have two programmes. One is for $5 million, and another one for $ 4 million is specific to Nigeria for areas where granite, columbites, and others, are mined. We have not been loud in announcing them because we don’t want the American government to withdraw. “When the programmes take off, we can announce.”

According to the minister, a Nigerian implementer has been appointed for the programmes while the ILO will be rendering technical assistance.

While applauding the ILO for being up and running in the area of technical assistance, he urged the organization to sustain the momentum.

He said this ministry has finished the validation of new laws and sent the bills to the National Assembly for legislation and passage, among them, the upgrade of the Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP) to a full-fledged commission.

“We are hopeful to get the National Assembly to pass the bills before the end of February.”