Senator Chris Ngige, Labour Minister
—Says its determination to move 100m people out of poverty real
–Establishes Market Information System for data collection
–Includes artisans in National Health Insurance
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, ABUJA
WORRIED by the high rate of unemployment, the Federal Government, weekend said it is setting up job centres in the 774 local government areas of the country as well as improving the Nigerian Electronic Labour Exchange to match jobseekers with jobs.
Already the government said the informal sector especially the artisans has been included in the National Health Insurance Act that was recently passed into law to help those that have not been able to take care of themselves or their families when they are ill to go to the hospitals and be taken care of.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ms Kachollom Daju disclosed this when she received members of Labour Correspondents of Nigeria, LACAN in Abuja.
She expressed optimism that with the new National Development Plan 2021 to 2025 which is multi-sectoral,
the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment and other ministries are working hard to ensure that the government policy of lifting 100 million people out of poverty is achieved.
According to her, “It’s not just federal government. The private sector is supposed to play a huge role because we cannot all be dependent on the government.
“The private sector has its own role to play. And that’s why the federal government has shown that for the development plan, a certain percentage is a huge percentage of what it takes to ensure that employment, infrastructure and all that is carried out by the private sector. I know that the private sector is going to play a huge role in achieving this.”
Continuing, she said, “So, we will work together and for the Ministry of Labour, we have different agencies and departments that have to do with employment skills. As you all know, and recently, the Labour Market Information System, which we’re bringing out for the citizens to know is to ensure that data is collected.
“And alongside that, we’re actually going to improve on job matching, the Nigerian Electronic Labour Exchange which has been on but now we are only going to improve on where you match job seekers with the job.
“It has been going on but apparently many Nigerians are not aware of that, so the ministry is upgrading that and ensuring that hopefully, I do not want to give a date but I know that we are improving more and actually constructing more job centres across the nation.
“We have around 16 now and we are going to that the 36 states and Abuja, all have job centres not only in the cities centres but also in the 744 Local Government Areas and we have started that in the 2022 Budget.
“We want more job centres created in the 744 Local Government Areas and the states, that is how the government equally want to help.”
She said that one of the agencies in the ministry, the National Directorate of Employment, NDE, was brought to ensure that the informal sector which has remained a problem for the government is well taken care of.
She said that the NDE has different schemes that cut across the board where employment is reduced for the use.
“Not only for the youth, but you also have schemes that are for women only, solely for women, you have agric skills, you have mature people skills, and they are trained in various different vocational skills all across the country.
“You have bead making, mechanic training and so many different things, you actually have a rural infrastructure, where roads are built and hospitals are maintained, and many things like that,” Daju said.
She further stated that “A large per cent of people are in the informal sector and with the National Health Insurance Act which was just passed, the insurance has to go to the informal sector too now and it is all part of what government is doing
“It will equally help the artisans who have not been able to take care of themselves or their families when they are ill to go to the hospitals and being taken care of.
“NSITF (Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund) which is part of the Ministry of Labour, has Employment Compensation Act, where anybody who has an accident at the place of work is compensated and paid a certain amount, depending on how much they have been doing or how much you earn and they have been doing that.
“They have actually taken the bill before the National Assembly, where it will be improved upon and better things will come to the citizens and we are hoping and praying that the National Assembly will be able to pass the bill in time as it will make it easier for employees who are supposed to pay one per cent to the fund.
“All employers are expected to pay one per cent to NSITF which is part of the Employee Compensation Act.
“Yes, I would say government policy to reduce poverty by 2030 is real, to cut down youth unemployment is real.
“The statistics can speak for themselves and this actually is multi-sector and it cuts across all MDAs.”
The Permanent Secretary said that the Ministry of Labour and Employment, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Youths and Sports Development, the Ministry of Information and Culture, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and all the MDA’s have their individual roles to play in reducing poverty.
“But we all come together as one government to ensure that the citizens are given what is deserving of them,” she submitted.
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