By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor & Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA—The Federal Government envisages the addition of three million jobs to the Nigerian economy within the next five years with the first 1.2 million jobs being created in the year, 2016, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo said yesterday.
The three million jobs to be created largely in the private sector, Osinbajo said yesterday, is within the framework of what he described as President Buhari’s directive that all policies of government should be framed with the question, “how many jobs would the policy create?”
The vice-president spoke yesterday while receiving the implementation report jointly packaged by the Job Creation Unit of the Presidency and the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, NESG on job creation and youth employment in the country.
“We are in a situation now when the only way is up,” Prof. Osinbajo declared while thanking the NESG “for working so hard on this project,” the vice-president was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his spokesman, Laolu Akande.
Under the proposal, entitled “Strategic Framework & Implementation Plan for Job Creation & Youth Employment in Nigeria,” more than 3 million jobs would be created in the country within three years starting in 2016 especially in Technology, Wholesale & Retail, Construction and Agro-allied sectors of the Nigerian economy.”
700,000 private sector jobs, majority of which are expected in the Agro-allied sector are expected to be created in the year under the initiative, which is said to be besides the 500,000 teaching jobs for unemployed graduates planned by the Buhari administration.
Akande quoted the vice-president as saying that President Buhari had set job creation as the central focus of government policy when he instructed that policy planning must address the question, “how many jobs would the policy create?
Even though job creation might be “painfully slow,” Prof Osinbajo assured Nigerians that the Buhari presidency is addressing the constraints that businesses face including regulatory and institutional delays. He noted that government and the private sector only need to work together and get it right this time.
According to him, “I am extremely excited at all that is available. We really have everything we need, we just need to get it right,” indicating the role of effective implementation of the job creation plan.
The Job Creation Unit in the presidency initiated the job creation plan and the NESG as private sector players validated it through a joint committee, and would be working together with government in the implementation process.
Speaking earlier at the meeting, the chairman of the NESG, Mr. Kyari A. Bukar noted that “NESG is honored to be part of the Committee, and we commit to collaborate with the JCU whilst leveraging our vast private sector network to collectively solve the unemployment challenges Nigeria faces.”
He added that the NESG “have had the opportunity to review the Strategic Framework & Implementation Plan for Job Creation developed by the JCU, with the support of Dahlberg, and understand the urgency in addressing unemployment in Nigeria,” and urged the federal government to address the sectoral constraints of job creation particularly in the four selected sectors of Technology, Wholesale & Retail, Construction and Agro-allied businesses.