Showing posts with label FG. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FG. Show all posts

Africa: FG pays N20,000 stipends to 394,433 beneficiaries of 774,000 jobs

Three hundred and ninety – four thousand four hundred and thirty- three (394, 433) participants of the Federal Government’s Extended Special Public Works Programme have so far been paid as of Friday, 18, 2021, document showed last night.

In the document shared by Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, 639, 947 participants registered for the programme meant to provide a stop- gap three month jobs to mainly artisans to earn N20, 000 monthly doing public works.

The document showed that 463, 742 participants have so far been verified and are ready for payment by their various banks.

According to the document, Fidelity Bank has paid 92, 394 participants of the 104, 596 that registered with the bank while UBA has paid 73, 531 participants of the 100, 800 that registered with the bank and Heritage Bank has paid 61, 800 participants of the 102, 800 that registered with the bank.

Also, Zenith Bank has paid 58, 732 participants of the 92, 700 that registered with the bank while Access Bank has paid 58, 638 participants of the 105, 000 that registered with the bank and FCMB has paid 32, 696 participants of the 118, 209 that registered with the bank.

And Yobe MFB has paid 16, 642 participants of the 16, 642 that registered with the bank.

The programme, which was flagged off in January by Keyamo, has come under scrutiny with participants complaining of non – payment of their N20, 000 stipends after competing their assignments.

But on Monday, officials from the National Directorate of Employment, participating banks and the Minister’s office, met at the Minister’s conference room to review the progress so far made in the execution of the programme.

Those present at the meeting on Monday included: Olua Davidson; Faniyi Fatogun; and Christopher Omoaghe (Representatives of the Minister); Olaomi Roseline Silvia; Dauda Idris; Samaila B Mamman (Rep of NDE) and representatives of banks)

At the end of the meeting, all parties affirmed that they will continue the rigorous process of registering and verifying all the participants before payments in order to avoid wide-scale fraud in the programme.

The meeting also agreed that those who have already been selected for the ESPW programme and have issues should approach their various banks to regularise their registration.

The document reads: “All parties affirm that they will continue the rigorous process of registering and verifying all the participants before payments in order to avoid wide-scale fraud in the programme. The banks will continue the role of registering and verifying the participants from their local branches in different LGAs in order to ensure that most of the participants are resident in those LGAs to achieve the aim and design of the programme of empowering 1,000 Nigerians in each of the 774 LGAs in Nigeria.

“The meeting agreed that those who have already been selected for the ESPW programme and have issues should approach their various banks to regularize their registration. The Bank branches are directed to attend to all participants duly selected using https://banks.specialpublicworks.gov.ng. On no account should they be turned back.

“Those who have been duly captured by the banks but with incorrect or inconsistent BVNs are advised to go back to their banks to rectify the inconsistencies. A link will be provided on the ESPW and NDE websites (www.specialpublicworks.gov.ng and www.nde.gov.ng) for participants to check their BVN status. For those who cannot use the internet they should go to the State NDE offices, Liaison Officers of the NDE in their various LGAs or approach the Chairman of their State Selection Committee to avail them the list of those with issues with their BVNs.

“For those who do not have problems with their BVNs but have not received payments, they should go to the banks that registered them to clarify the issues.

“The banks are mandated to issue ATM cards to all participants. Participants are therefore encouraged to collect their ATM cards from the banks so that they can access their payments from various cash points without necessarily going to the banks.

“Participants are assured that their stipends would be paid as soon as all issues are resolved.

“The meeting agreed that banks are no longer restricted to their initially allotted Local Governments. Consequently, selected participants are at liberty to approach any of the seven selected banks nearest to the Local Government where they were selected. The Banks are namely Access, FCMB, Fidelity, Heritage, UBA, Yobe MFB and Zenith.

“So far, the NDE has authorized the payments of one-month stipends to all those that have been verified. As shown above, all parties are making strenuous efforts to resolve issues of those yet to receive the first month stipends before the commencement of the second tranche of payments.”

The SPW is an adhoc programme designed by the federal government to provide a stop – gap three month jobs to mainly artisans to earn N20, 000 monthly doing public works.

1,000 youths were hired from each of the 774 local government areas in the country as beneficiaries, bringing the figure to 774, 000 councils.

N52 billion has been earmarked for the programme expected to last for three months, with the monies used for the purchase of equipment, payment of salaries and other logistics.

But only N26 billion has been released for the programme. Thenationonlineng 


8,000 women benefit from FG special grants

No fewer than 8,000 rural women across the Local Government Areas in Lagos State on Friday benefitted from the Federal Government special grants of N20,000.

The state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, according to a statement on Sunday, said the objective of the initiative was in line with his agenda and reflected his commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat, said, “The government will continue to initiate specifically designed empowerment programmes that will cushion the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on rural women and their small-scale businesses in the state.

“The initiative would ultimately go a long way in boosting businesses and assisting entrepreneurs to overcome the post-COVID-19 socio-economic challenges,” he said.

The governor appealed to the beneficiaries of the grant to deploy the fund as a seed to boost their trade and businesses for greater income.

The state Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Mrs Yetunde Arobieke, stated that the special grant project was aimed at addressing the scourge of poverty among the poor and vulnerable women dwelling in the rural areas. Punch

COVID-19: FG clears air on another total lockdown from next week

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has told Nigerians to ignore rumours of fresh lockdown alert in circulation on social media.

PTF National Coordinator, Dr Sani Aliyu, said this in a short video released on Thursday.

The rumour started following the emergence of a purported WhatsApp message from a member of the PTF, which claimed there will be a total lockdown in Nigeria from next week.

But Aliyu has now insisted that the federal government was aware of the economic implication of a fresh lockdown.

He said, “We are aware of a fake message on WhatsApp that we’ve declared a lockdown in the country. This is absolutely not true. I call on the Nigerian public to please ignore this message and continue with normal activities.

“I’m also calling on the public to abide by the non-pharmaceutical interventions including wearing of face masks in the public, washing of hands and maintaining physical distancing.

“There is an established way that we send our messages to the public including declarations when it comes to infection control. So, please ignore what is being going round on WhatsApp.” Dailypost

Border reopening: Poultry, rice importation remain banned - FG

Minister of Interior, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, has said that despite the reopening of borders, the importation of rice and other items remain banned.

He said with the deployment of technology in some of Nigeria’s borders, no one would enter the country with a hidden identity.

Aregbesola, who spoke with newsmen in Ilesa on Saturday, explained that the need for proper documentation of movement in and out of the country led to the deployment of technology at the borders.

He said, “We have deployed technology which is called MINDARS – Migration Information Data Analysis System in the four borders we reopened.

“MINDARS will register whoever passes, either a Nigerian or non-Nigerian across our borders and once you have registered, it is for life. It will take biometric, photographs, names, and other details in a central database. Nobody can now be anonymous through our border posts.”

He said added that the reopening was for movement of people, goods, and services originating from the region of West Africa for trading purposes.

“Items that we banned are foreign items. Parboiled rice is only eaten in Nigeria in the entire West of Africa. The border reopening does not in any way affect the banned items. Like poultry, rice and other contraband such as psychotropic drugs, arms and ammunition, money laundering and others they are criminal,” Aregbesola said.

The ex-Osun state governor, when asked about the recent meeting he had with his successor, Adegboyega Oyetola, ex-governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, at the residence of Chief Bisi Akande in Ila, Aregbesola denied having any rift with Oyetola.

He said the meeting was not to settle any rift, noting that his being away from the state was to allow the new governor to settle down in office.

“I have clarified this to the world, I don’t have any rift with anybody. I’ve been away from here for a while simply to allow the new governor to settle down.


“With what I see, our party remains strong and my having to be more here is to strengthen the party through healthy mobilisation. My party is my party,” he said. Punch


FG gives update on full reopening of schools

The Federal Government has said it has not come to a point where it is convinced that schools should be reopened for academic exercise after their closure due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja at a meeting of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 with the Northern Traditional Leaders Committee (NTLC) on National Primary Health.

The meeting was presided over by the Minister of Information and Culture on behalf of the Chairman of PTF and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, NAN reports.

The meeting was to seek the support of the traditional rulers towards preventing community spread of COVID-19.

Responding to a question from Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence Sa’ad Abubakar, on school reopening, Nwajiuba said the federal government is still evaluating the situation.

“At the moment, we have not come to the point where we can say we are convinced that schools can manage themselves and reopen comfortably.

“Our teams have gone out, and we will use the whole of this week and next week to do a proper evaluation.

“We are going round to see the level of compliance, but most importantly, we are waiting to get an update on all the facilities in every part of Nigeria.

“So, it is a work in progress,” he said.

The minister said the government strongly believes in the opinion of experts that 15 percent of transmission of the pandemic is from the school environment.

“We believe expert opinion that a school system is a suspect place for transmission, and that is why we are working with them, particularly on guidelines.

“We are suggesting that classes be remodelled if there are not enough classrooms for social distancing,

“We can do this system where some can come in the morning, maybe the junior classes and the senior classes can come in the afternoon.

“We are also working out guidelines such as the washing of hands because the school must go on at one point,” he said.

The minister said they experimented with the system in the past weeks during the West African School Certificate Examinations and the Joint Admission Matriculation Examination.

“We are lucky thus far because we only recorded an incident in Gombe where a child contacted COVID-19.

“We quickly isolated him, and he recovered in time to join the class back.

“But that showed that these places are sources of spread,” he said. NAN

FG extends airports closure by 2 weeks

The Federal Government has extended the closure of airports across the country by another two weeks beginning from April 23, 2020.

Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, announced this via a tweet on his verified Twitter handle on Monday.

He said the extension was due to the recent lockdown order of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

Last month, the Federal Government ordered the closure of Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, and other airports nationwide.

It declared that the closure of airports was part of measures to contain the spread of the rampaging coronavirus disease.

Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Capt. Musa Nuhu, had stated that the shutdown would last till April 23, 2020.

But Sirika on Monday announced that the airports would remain closed for two more weeks, although this was subject to review.

The minister said, “As a result of the extension of lockdown by Mr. President, it is no longer possible for us to open our airspace and airports for normal operations by the 23rd of April, 2020.

“They will remain closed for a further two weeks. This (is) subject to review as appropriate.”

Sirika’s tweet, however, generated diverse reactions. While some of his Twitter followers commended the government for the move, others lambasted the minister.

Responding to the minister’s tweet, Bello Abdullahi, said, “If you had acted promptly by closing all entry points and quarantined people for 21 days, Nigeria would not have to go on locking down states.

“And now look at what you’re talking about. We’re surely in the wrong hands!”

Another Twitter user, Savanna Princess, told Sirika to “kindly stop all the VIP shuttles going on. It makes no sense to lock citizens up and allow governors stream in and out of Abuja.

“In the first instance, they carried this virus into Nigeria. Now running around isn’t okay!” Punch


Iran’s support El-Zakzaky to turn Nigeria to Islamic State -FG

The Federal Government has alleged that the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, has the sole aim of establishing an Islamic State in Nigeria.

The government also said the cleric had the full support of the Iranian government to achieve this aim.

The government made these claims in a counter-affidavit it filed against IMN’s motion challenging the Federal High Court’s order of July 26 proscribing the group.

Justice Nkeonye Maha of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court who issued the proscription order, on Wednesday, fixed September 11 for the hearing of the motion filed on behalf of the IMN by Mr. Femi Falana (SAN).

In Ebonyi: FG, WHO respond to Yellow Fever outbreak

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) with World Health Organisation (WHO) and Ebonyi Government are responding to the outbreak of yellow fever in the state, an official says.

In a statement in Abuja on Saturday, the Director General of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said Ebonyi Public Health team commenced investigation on suspected case on July, 31,
Ihekweazu said Ebonyi State Public Health team commenced investigation since July, 31, adding that three cases tested positive to yellow fever at NCDC’s National Reference Laboratory, which triggered an immediate response.

Iheakweazu said the inquiry indicated that the outbreak might have been going on for a few months undetected by local health authorities.

The director-general said that detailed analysis and plans were at advance stages to apply to international vaccine stockpile to enable a reactive vaccination campaign in Ebonyi in response to the cluster of cases.

According to him, yellow fever virus is spread through bites of an infected mosquito and there is no human-to-human transmission of the virus.
He said that yellow fever is a completely vaccine preventable disease and that a single shot provides immunity for life.

He said the vaccine was available and dispensed free in primary health care centres in Nigeria as part of routine immunisation schedule. (Vanguard)

FG to begin issuance of birth certificate to animals

Plans have reached an advanced stage for the issuance of “birth certificates” for the animals as well as registration of all farmers and their cattle by the Ugandan government.

Ugandan Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Vincent Ssempijja, said the move became necessary to enable government trace where the products are coming from.
Ssempijja explained that the international market demanded that all countries producing food for the European market needed to provide proof so that the food could be traced.
“They want to know where the meat and crop products are coming from.

“They have been impounding and banning all consignments from Uganda if they find one box with issues.
“Farmers will be registered and their products given barcodes so that if they find a problem with one box, they look for the source and sort out the problem.
“We cannot enter lucrative markets unless farmers register,” he said at the official opening of the National Agricultural Show in Jinja, southern Uganda.

Ssempijja added that all the cattle must be registered and given “birth certificates”.
“For cattle farmers, it is going to be worse. You will be registered as a farmer, the cow will be registered, numbered and will have a birth certificate because the importers of our products demand meat for cows aged between 15 to 24 months.

“So we are going to sell the meat depending on their age,” he added.
An audit team from the European Union is expected to arrive in Uganda in September to that effect. (NAN)

Yoruba youths dare FG over Miyetti Allah’s call for Obasanjo’s arrest

Yoruba youths under the auspices of Igbimo Odo Yoruba on Monday reacted with anger to a media statement by a faction of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, calling on the Federal Government to arrest former President Olusegun Obasanjo, over comments made by him in his open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday.

In a strongly-worded statement on Monday, a copy of which was made available to News Express, the group said: “We strongly consider this ridiculous call by this faction of the notorious Miyetti Allah group as not only an insult, but a joke taken too far by these characters, who have today become an organisation of national security concern to the average Nigerian.

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“We want to liken the latest call for the arrest of former President Obasanjo to the infamous 30 days ultimatum issued by one of its surrogate organisations known as the Coalition of Northern Group (CNG), over issues around the establishment of cattle colonies by the Buhari administration.”
It added: “We hereby dare the Federal Government to arrest President Obasanjo and see what will be the fallout of such action.

“It is worrisome that people who ordinarily should be behind bars for the numerous crimes against humanity in Nigeria, that were the issues around which Chief Obasanjo’s letter focused on, are now audacious enough, making media appearances and issuing further threats to the security and stability of our country.

“We loudly say that for the Federal Government to make any attempt at arresting Chief Obasanjo or any of our leaders, who have risen to the occasion of calling on this administration to act, in the face of a likely national disintegration, being fueled mainly by the atrocious activities of the members of Miiyetti Allah will not augur well, not only  for the present government, but also every enabler of the atrocities being committed against Nigerians, particularly in the Southwest.

“Today, Nigerians are watching helplessly, as Fulani herdsmen masquerading as Miyetti Allah,  keep tormenting innocent citizens while carrying out lots of atrocities against non -Fulani  communities  with the Federal Government not raising an eyebrow.

“We repeat that if Buhari’s government continues to keep quiet as these marauders keep insulting our sensibilities without immediately putting an end to their criminalities across the country, we shall no longer take it kindly with the government and those assaulting our people.
“If this administration wants to make any arrest, they should start from these criminals and terrorists who have made lives miserable for us and are pushing our country completely to the brink.
“Whoever thinks of arresting President Obasanjo or any of our leaders should immediately bury such thought because it will backfire seriously on them.

“We also want to call on government and security agencies to immediately call these factions of Miyetti Allah to order against making disparaging statements that are uncalled for. There is nothing unusual about citizens particularly elder statesman like Chief Obasanjo, speaking against politics of the incumbent provided they are based on facts.

“We urge Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to remain consistent and feel free to call the incumbent administration to order when need be.”
They concluded with an affirmative declaration: “We have spoken!”

FG, governors to recruit N-Power cadets, Corps members for community policing

The Federal Government and the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, have proposed to recruit N-Power cadets whose two-year service will soon come to an end or youth corps members or any of the other institutions to boost the manpower of the Nigerian Police Force.

Meantime, President Muhammmadu Buhari has directed governors and security chiefs to work out detailed modalities for the suggested takeoff date so that it can be draft into a plan of action. Briefing State House correspondents after a closed door meeting with the President at the Presidential Villa Abuja, Chairman of NGF, and Ekiti state Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said both parties felt the recruitment of 10,000 policemen to tackle the dearth of security agents in the country was inadequate.

Fayemi, said he briefed the President on the outcome of the security committee of the National Economic Council which he chairs, adding that the committee reviewed concerns, issues around security and the proposed reactions on those.

He said, “This was a meeting that had in its membership the governors from the six zones, the Inspector-General of Police, Chief of Defence Staff and the National Security Adviser.

“It was the outcome of the last Economic Council meeting which focused exclusively on security. That committee has just met a couple of days ago and I was asked to brief both the Vice President who chairs the National Economic Council and to brief the President as well on the aspect of the work of the sub-committee of NEC that will require the Commander-in-Chief’s support.

“Namely, the organisation of the community policing arrangement that the IGP has announced publicly as his own way of effective response to security challenges across the board.

“The coordination between governors and security chiefs within the six zones and then recruitment into the law enforcement agencies. As you maybe aware, certain recruitments are going on now particularly with regard to the police.

“But, we feel in our humble opinion that 10,000 men and women are not enough to add to the police in tackling the dearth of security agents in the country. That we will have to figure out a way to increase that number either out of the NPower cadets who are coming to the end of their service year having spent two years or youth service corps members or any of the other institutions that will enable us to boost the manpower of the Nigeria Police Force.”

On the President’s response, Fayemi said: “He commended the National Economic Council (NEC) for paying special attention to security and he also urged the NEC committee to work with the security chiefs who have already briefed him during the security meeting on Thursday.

“Mr. President also said that jointly we should workout the detailed modalities for the suggested date so that can be draft into a plan of action.” (Vanguard)


FG bows to pressure, suspends RUGA scheme

The Federal Government on Wednesday bowed to overwhelming public pressure and suspended the controversial Rural Grazing Area (RUGA) settlements scheme for herdsmen across the nation.

Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State revealed the suspension minutes ago at the Presidential Villa in Abuja after a meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

RUGA has been unanimously rejected in the South and parts of the Middle Belt, with several state governors insisting there is no land for ranches and cattle colonies in their various states.

The scheme is viewed with suspicion, with critics alleging that it is part of a purported Islamisation plot by President Muhammadu Buhari. News Express

FG begins probe of constituency projects

The federal government has taken its ant-corruption war to the National Assembly and Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

Under the new offence designed to check the siphoning of public funds through questionable projects, the government mandated the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to probe the constituency projects initiated by lawmakers in 12 states selected from the six geo-political zones of the country.

And in line with the mandate, the ICPC will today begin the verification and tracking of projects which have been identified in some selected states, with two states in each zone.
In the North Central, ICPC officials will visit Kogi and Benue states, Adamawa and Bauchi states in the Northeast, and Sokoto and Kano states in the Northwest.
Others are South-East: Imo and Enugu states; South-West has Lagos and Osun states and South-South, Akwa Ibom and Edo states. The 12 states fall under the first phase of the ICPC probe.

LEADERSHIP learnt that during the probe, the ICPC would invite former and re-elected members of the 9th National Assembly to indicate the locations of the projects and the cost.

It was gathered that the move has caused fears among members of the 8th Assembly and those who were re-elected and recently inaugurated.

Officials of the executing agencies are also allegedly worried over the latest move of the federal government.
President Muhammadu Buhari has severally accused the National Assembly of paddling the national budgets through constituency projects.

A brief of the project monitoring or tracking group obtained by LEADERSHIP showed that the site visits by the team will involve the ICPC and representatives of other members of the steering committee as well as competent officers from the executing agency for each project.
The mandate of the tracking team include to investigate fraudulent procurement practices in the award of contracts for the construction of the projects, with potential to impact the lives of ordinary Nigerians; monitor in collaboration with the official stakeholders, the implementation and construction of the projects from inception to completion; make recoveries on project contracts confirmed to have been inflated.

The Constituency Projects’ Tracking Group (CPTG), which is aimed at monitoring the funds released for the affected projects and how they are being utilised, was launched on April 2, 2019.

While launching the programme, the ICPC chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, had said: “Constituency projects are intended for developmental projects such as the provision of water, rural electrification, rural clinics, schools, community centres, and bursary for indigent students. Over the years, constituency projects have become enmeshed in controversy between non-state actors, the promoters of the projects, and the communities that are supposed to benefit from the projects. The concern is that in Nigeria, rather than address the needs of constituents, many constituency projects have become avenues for corruption.

“Given the controversy, Nigerians have questioned the transparency of selection of projects and allocation of funds in the budgets of MDAs. Selection of contractors is also enmeshed in disputes. Critical analysis of the capital expenditure of some MDAs has led to the allegation that the capital budgets of some agencies may be a conduit for corrupt enrichment,” he said.

Warri-Abuja rail line to gulp N1.4 trillion — FG

The Federal government has revealed that networking Warri with Abuja through rail line will gulp a whopping $3.9 billion (about N1.404 trillion), explaining that the figure will also involve the building of the seaport at Warri.

Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, who made the disclosure during the routine inspection of the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan railway project, expressed happiness over the progress of work.

While commenting on the pace of work on the Lagos-Ibadan railway, he explained that about 123 kilometres had been covered, adding that the remaining 38 kilometres of track-laying would probably be completed in two weeks’ time.

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“We are at Kilometre 123 remaining 38 Kilometres. So, we know we will get there before the end of the month. It is just 38 kilometres and they lay three kilometres per day which means in 12 or 13 days, they should be in Ibadan. We are running Ibadan outskirt, but we should be at the end of the station by the end of this month,” he revealed.

Responding to the state of work at the Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri rail project, the minister said: “The track has gone to Warri and they are using it now, but they have not finish with the station and I expect that by the end of the year they can finish it. For the rail from Warri to Abuja, it will cost $3.9 billion.” (Daily Sun)

FG slams $8,400, N4bn fraud charges on NFF President Pinnick

The Federal Government has charged the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick and four others with alleged misappropriation of $8,400 belonging to the football body.

In a 17-count charge, marked FHC/ABJ/CR/93/2019, filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday, the money was said to have been paid by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to the NFF as appearance fees in the group state of the Russia 2018 World Cup.

Named with Pinnick in the charge, are NFF Secretary, Sunusi Mohammed; the 1st Vice-President, Seyi Akinwumi; the 2nd Vice-President, Shehu Dikko and an Executive member, Yusuff Fresh.

The defendants were also accused of “moving dishonestly and intentionally the sum of about N4bn” belonging to the NFF without the consent of the NFF.

The five are also accused, in the charge filed by the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), led by Okoi Obono-Obla, of failing and neglecting to declare their assets. (The Nation)

FG raises alarm over Nigeria’s increasing unemployment rate

The federal government has raised the alarm that the country’s unemployment rate would reach 33.5 per cent by 2020.      


Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, said this Thursday in Abuja while declaring open a two-day workshop on “Breaking the Resilience of High Unemployment Rate in the Country.”

He said that the increase in the rate of unemployment in the country was alarming.
According to him, the high unemployment rate of 23.1 per cent, and underemployment of 16.6 per cent by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) of 2019 report was worrisome.

He said: “It is a worrisome status as the global poverty capital (World Bank, 2018); and concomitant high prevalence rate of crimes and criminality, including mass murders, insurgency, militancy, armed robbery, kidnappings and drug abuse, among others.

“As if this situation is not scary enough, it is projected that the unemployment rate for this country will reach 33.5 per cent by 2020, with consequences that are better imagined, if the trend is not urgently reversed.

“It is a thing of joy to note that Nigeria has not been resting on her oars over the years in terms of dedicated efforts to curb the unemployment problem.”
Ngige said that various government social intervention programmes targeted at reducing youth unemployment and eradicating poverty, have been implemented by different administrations since Nigeria gained independence.

The minister also said that available records showed that between 1972 to date, about 14 different programmes have been implemented.

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He said that these programmes included the National Accelerated Food Production Programme (NAFPP), implemented between 1972 and 1973; the current National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), which has been ongoing since 2017, and embedded in the National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020.

He noted that yet, the unemployment rate and poverty levels are on steady paths of growth, indicating high resilience against the intervention efforts.
The minister wondered why some of the intervention efforts were not yielding expected results.

“What is the government and other stakeholders not doing right? What changes are needed in the policies, plans and strategies?
“What action areas need priority attention? What roles should different stakeholders play and what other options are not being exploited?
“Why do we employ expatriates for jobs Nigerians can do or why can´t Nigerians do these jobs? Why do we have deficits in housing, water, sanitation, food, entertainment facilities, health care, and education, among others?
“How do we deploy our population of productive age to fill the skills gaps needed for our national development?      

“How do we break the resilience of high unemployment rate in the country?” Ngige queried.

He said these were some of the questions that triggered new thoughts and concepts that led to series of activities that preceded the workshop.
Ngige said the workshop was aimed at presenting the outcome of some of government efforts and the commencement of another phase of the processes.

He, however, called for a collaborative mechanism that would yield desired results, while assuring that the recommendations from the workshop would receive prompt and sustained attention.

In his speech, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr. William Alo, said the workshop was aimed at examining issues around the persistent high unemployment rate in Nigeria.

Alo said this was with a view to making concrete recommendations on how to tackle the menace.
“This workshop is very important to the Ministry of Labour and Employment due to the direct relevance of the theme to the ministry’s mandate.
“However, the fact remains that the consequences of high unemployment rate in Nigeria affect each and every one of us as individuals and as members of the Nigerian society.
“The objectives of this workshop are, therefore, to present the findings of the survey on how to break the resilience of high unemployment rate in Nigeria to the peer community.
“To stimulate actions towards exploiting untapped available options for massive job creations; to chart way forward on immediate next steps that would yield measurable results”.


On his part, the Country Director, International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Nigeria, Dr. Dennis Zulu, said unemployment was a major concern to the organisation, especially in Nigeria.

“So, we believe, therefore, that if Nigeria addresses the issue of unemployment, it will go a long way to address the whole problem that is faced in Africa to that extent.
“Let me say that over the years, we have recognised the commitment of the Federal Government of Nigeria, where it has approved various initiatives including the adoption of Employment Policy of 2017.

“This was approved by the National Executive Council that provides a blueprint for strategies as far as the creation of jobs for Nigerians are concerned.
“We have also taken note of the different programmes that have been implemented by the Office of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

“These are the N-Power programme, SURE-P programme some years ago and many other ongoing programmes, ultimately supposed to contribute to the creation of jobs for young people in Nigeria,” Zulu said. (THISDAY)
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