Buhari government trying its best to tackle unemployment — Chris Ngige

The Muhammadu Buhari regime is doing its best to address the unemployment rate in the country, labour and employment minister says.

The recent unemployment report released by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that the country hit a new record high at 33.3 per cent in the fourth quarter (Q4) 2020 from 27.1 recorded in the second quarter (Q2) 2020.

However, the unemployment rate of the United States of America stands at 6.0 per cent in March 2021.

Speaking when he featured on ‘Sunday Politics’ a Channels TV programme, Ngige noted that the Buhari-led administration is currently implementing programmes such as the conditional cash transfer to address unemployment and poverty in the country.

The labour minister argued that government cannot alone provide unemployment to all its citizens, adding that the responsibility of the government is to create an enabling environment for the private sectors to thrive and be able to provide employment.

“You cannot remove poor people in any country. You cannot remove unemployment in any country. Even in the United States of America, you have unemployment and underemployment and they are fighting it. They are even giving cash, especially with COVID,’’ Ngige said.

“Maybe, we are not as rich as the United States of America but we will do our best and that is what we are doing.

“What the government is supposed to do is to create enabling environment for employment. The government has decided now to go and attack poverty through the back door by same extension, we are attacking unemployment.

“We want to get these people. We have already 30 million captured on the register, 7.6 million households, 4.8 million urban poor households. If you combine the two, you are talking about getting 50 million. We are going to start payment.

“In fact, payment should start any moment from now. No matter, how small the money is N5,000, N10,000, or whatever it is, you give it to them. You have alleviated some problems for that family. This is irrespective of whatever government is doing in terms of 774,000 jobs, that is 1,000 per local government for three months in the first instance.

“N20,000 for the youth that is captured there. This is irrespective of the conditional support programme.”


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