By Boluwaji Obahopo
LOKOJA—The Federal Government, yesterday, said the Graduate Internship Scheme, GIS, initiated by the administration of former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, was retained by the present government because it had been able to reduce graduate unemployment across the country.
Besides, the government said more than 41,000 graduates had benefited from the programme, with over 35,000 already exited and have secured jobs.
GIS Project Director, Ministry of Finance, Mr. Dennis Chukwu, said this in Lokoja, Kogi State, at the Career Development and Entrepreneurship Skills Training for beneficiaries of the scheme.
Chukwu said many of the graduates had also secured credit facilities and grants to expand businesses they established with the GIS stipends, giving the breakdown of the beneficiaries to include 68 percent male, 31 percent female, while the vulnerable had one percent.
Chukwu, who was represented by Mrs Memunat Usman, said the programme had been able to give hope to many young school leavers that would have been roaming the streets.
Chukwu said: “As a government, we can boldly say that the purpose of setting up the Graduate Internship Scheme, GIS, which is for unemployed graduates to acquire employable skills is being achieved.
“However, as long as thousands of graduates still remain unemployed, we will continue to improve the capacity of the scheme to absorb more applicants.”
According to him, the career development and entrepreneurship skills training are designed to help the beneficiaries answer the question of ‘what next’ and begin plans for the future.
He noted that the skills and experience the beneficiaries acquired through the GIS had placed them in a better position to contribute meaningfully to national development.