By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA—Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, yesterday, said that the stipend of N5,000 promised by the government of All Progressives Congress, APC, for unemployed youths was not for the indolent people.
He said that no country would give free money, stressing that Nigeria would not be an exception.
Speaking to journalists yesterday at the national secretariat of the APC in Abuja, Ngige, however, revealed that the Federal Government would ensure that the youths were trained in various skills and programmes to justify the money.
He added that the project would also involve the state governments.
According to him, there will be categories of people, who would earn higher than the N5,000.
“We also have the programme on the commission cash transfer. Though even you, the press, has said it, we won’t pay N5,000 for people to be indolent. No country in the world would pay people to go home and sleep and collect cash. So, Nigeria would not be an exception.
“We will pay some people N5,000, we will pay some N10,000, and even for people in teacher conversion scheme, we will pay more than N10,000 and N15,000 as stipend while in training, and then after the training, they are going to be employed by state government and the Federal Government in different institutions.
“It is not a programme we shall run alone, the state governments are going to buy into it. They are going to synchronize with us.We are going to do it in synergy.”
Ngige also stated that some of the programmes will “span through Ministry of Education, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Labour.
“Agriculture, because we have some agricultural universities, we will convert some people to teach the relevant agricultural science.”
The minister who stated that Nigeria has various skill acquisition centers also underscored the importance of training the youth.
“The ministry has specialist skills acquisition centres; we have seven like that in the ministry under the commissioner of skills or directorate for skills.
“The NDE have over 120 centres scattered all over the country. We also have those that have been built by state government and we want to capture all of these into that scheme and then get people to the scheme to be bricklayers, POP designers, builders, welders, electronics repairers and the one they called mecha-tronic, repair of vehicles, automobile carpentry, painting and fabrication of all sorts.”