By Bimbola Oyesola
In a bid to support the nation’s labour movement grow its entreprenueral capacity, the Federal Government said it is bankrolling the National Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) for young entrepreneurs with N75 billion over three years.
The Minister of Labour, and Employment Senator Chris Ngige, representing President Muhammad Buhari, at the May Day ceremony in Abuja at the weekend, said this was part of the guaranteed off-take stimulus scheme for Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) for producers of hygienic products and packaged foods to encourage entrepreneurship and industries.
“Also we intend to expand the N-Power programme from present 500,000 to N1 million persons and the Central Bank of Nigeria has activated her programme in Agriculture and Manufacturing,” he said.
The Labour Minister said through the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment there is the entrepreneur support programme, which includes the vulnerable workers amongst the urban poor.
He said, “We also have the Artisan Support Fund, Payroll Support Fund for small scale businesses, Business Formalisation aimed at encouraging micro, small and medium enterprises by offering free registration for upcoming businesses by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).”
Ngige assured the workers that while the federal government await the formalisation of its social protection network and people’s welfare, it will not rest on its oars in combating the challenges of the present time occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic
He added, “We have put in place some socio-economic policies to alleviate poverty and our efforts include but not limited to the expansion of the Conditional Cash Transfer for the vulnerable poor from 2.6 million households (13 million persons) to 7.6 million households (about 32 persons), and COVID-19 Rapid Response Register (RRR) for Urban poor which now has 4.8 million households (20 million persons) which also include urban poor/working class.”
The Labour Minister emphasised that decent jobs in the nation’s workplaces remain a goal for the Buhari’s led administration.
“Irrespective of the hitches caused by the pandemic in our efforts and journey to attain the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union 2063 Agenda with its seven (7) African aspirations, we Nigerians are committed to inclusive and sustainable development anchored by the decent work agenda to initiate and maintain economic growth,” he said.