By Franklin Alli
The Federal Government has secured over N44 billion funding support from the World Bank and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to create 460,000 jobs across eight sectors of the economy under the Growth and Employment (GEM) project over the next six years (2013-2018).
According to him, GEM is an employment project formulated by the ministry and supported by World Bank and the DFID.
“The DFID has provided 90 million Euros (about N18.5 billion) as grant and the World Bank $160 million (about N25.6 billion concessionary loans for the implementation of the project in Nigeria,” he stated.
He said that the project which has started running since June last year and will expire September 2018, is aimed at job creation and increased non-oil growth in specific high-potential value chain sectors.
Represented by Yunusa Labaran, GEM Project Coordinator, the Permanent Secretary, explained that the project has identified eight sectors based on their growth and employment potential and they are: Entertainment industry, ICT, hospitality and tourism; meat and leather, light manufacturing and agro processing; construction/real estate as well as whole sale and retail sector.
According to him, GEM is being implemented under three pillars, namely, “To address gaps that prevent key growth centers from expanding and hiring more Nigerians; to provide technical assistance and linkage services to small producers in the eight sectors to enable them to supply local and global supermarket chains. The project is also aimed at improving the business enabling environment so that the businesses can grow faster, and become more profitable.”
Andrew Gatside, Senior Private Sector Development Adviser, World Bank, urged operators in the targeted key sectors to tap into the project in order to benefit their businesses.