Olusegun Aganga, the Minister of Finance, said on Tuesday in Abuja that the Federal Government was putting strategies in place to ensure that unemployment rate is reduced. Aganga said at the Presidential Dialogue at the 16th National Economic Summit that Nigeria was not the only nation faced with the challenges of unemployment.
He said that unemployment being witnessed globally was a fall-out of the global financial crises. “The issues of poverty and unemployment are global issues today, it affects every country and it is a fall-out of the global economic crises, so we are not the only nation faced with the issue.
The management of poverty and level of unemployment are some of the mandates given to the National Economic Team by the president,” Aganga said.
According to him, the major focus is on job creation, adding that the team has consulted widely to ensure that the rate of unemployment is reduced in the country.
The reason why the present administration is focusing on improving the real sector of the economy is to ensure that jobs are created for our teeming unemployed youths. It is not essentially the business of government to employ; it is the business of the private sector because the private sector’s needs are not many,’’” he said.
According to him, government is working to ensure public private partnerships and create incentives that will help bring about more investments to help in job creation in the country. The minister noted that there was the need for consistency in government policies, adding that efforts should be made to institutionalise policies that would bring about sustained economic growth.
“We will continue to dialogue with the private sector and ensue that efforts are made to reduce the level of efforts channelled to oil and gas sector and move other sectors that can help bring about growth that will facilitate employment growth in the country,” he said.
Aganga noted that government’s efforts to establish the sovereign wealth fund was to stabilise the economy for the future generation.
Dr Shamusudeen Usman, the Minister and Deputy Chairman, National Planning Commission, said the full implementation of the vision 20:2020 would go a long way in reducing unemployment rate in the country.
He said that lack of national vision over the years had affected the growth of the economy and contributed to the current level of unemployment. The difference between Nigeria, Indonesia, Malaysia and other countries is that they have national vision which they believed and worked with.
What we are trying to do is to ensure that Nigerians are educated about the vision 2020 and ensure that everybody believes in it so that we can join hands and ensure that it will be fully implemented. This will go a long way in reducing unemployment rate and bring about development in the country,” Usman said.
He added that the government was working to ensure that the vision would be backed by a law to enable it to be achieved. The theme of the summit is, “Nigeria at 50: The challenge of Visionary Leadership and Good Governance”.