By Ozioruva Aliu

BENIN CITY – THE Minister of State for Labour and Employment and chairman and supervising minister of the National Directorate for Employment (NDE), Festus Keyamo (SAN) on Monday,said Nigeria’s economic situation is not the worse when compared to the elites nations in the world that suffered the COVID -19 pandemic just as he said the federal government was repositioning the NDE to meet its target of lifting 100 million Nigerians from poverty in ten years.

   Keyamo stated this at the retreat and inaugural meeting of the NDE Board held in Benin City where he said he would in line with the law setting up NDE constitute advisory councils for the state offices and also set up committees to monitor the progress of the Directorate in between board meetings to push for the realization of President Muhammadu Buhari’s target on poverty eradication.

   He said “So many nations are collapsing all over the world leading to social unrest here and there. 

   “So, Nigeria is still managing its affairs very well. If you look at the global reports of elite countries who were richer than Nigeria who are now in danger of a collapsing economy, Nigeria is not there.

   “I need to say this at this point and as we go into campaigns, people should not deceive Nigerians as if Nigerians are gullible, that Nigeria is an isolated nation in the world that is facing a certain economic crisis. 

   “This is a global crisis leading to social unrest in many countries. 

    “You will understand that the present government has managed our situation so well that it could have been worse like we have in so many countries and I will give so many examples if we have time, countries who are more elites than Nigeria, who are more in debts crisis than us, even here in west Africa, go and see the report of borrowings that are far more than that of Nigeria right now”.

   Keyamo said the rate of unemployment has increased from 26 percent to 33 percent and that the only solution to cushion the effects of unemployment is to skill up the Nigerian populace and “There is no way we can create spaces within public institutions to employ Nigerians and clean up the unemployment market”, he said.

   Earlier, the DG, NDE, Mallam Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo, appealed for increase in budgetary allocation to the body in order to meet up with its demands as he said the budgetary allocation to it has not been increased since 2004 “despite geometric increase in the rate of unemployed persons with its attendant socio economic implications”

   He also suggested the possibility of external funding for the Directorate to meets its target.  


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