Bimbola Oyesola, 08033246177
The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to reduce unemployment in the country through the construction of new skills acquisition centres as well as completion and rehabilitation of abandoned centres.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Federal Specialist Skills Acquisition Centre, Ifitedunu, Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra State, said the Federal Government was working towards reducing unemployment in the country within a short and medium-term frame.
“The good news is that Federal Government, through well-articulated strategies, which include the construction of new skills acquisition centres, completion and rehabilitation of abandoned and dilapidated centres across the country is working towards curtailing unemployment in the country.”
The minister emphasised that the focus on vocational skills acquisition as a strategy to combat youth unemployment is predicated on its successful deployment by both developing and developed nations to stem the tide of unemployment and trends in modern labour market demand for a developing nation like Nigeria.
He added that the specialised skills acquisition centres are also designed to provide hands-on skills in modern building and construction techniques, including welding and fabrication to produce metal doors among others.
“We are focusing on skills acquisition because of the trends in modern labour market demands for a growing country like ours. With a huge housing deficit of 17 million and with the estimate construction of 1,000 housing units in each of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria has the potential of creating over three million jobs in a year with huge multiplier effects.
“Countries like America, Britain and Canada are reported to have recorded 80 to 70 per cent contributions to their GDP through housing and construction sector, this is achievable in Nigeria,” Ngige said.
Speaking further, Ngige called on Nigerian youths to embrace blue collar jobs rather than indulging in an endless search for white collar jobs which are currently limited in supplies.
In his remarks, the Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Nkem Okeke, appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for the siting of the specialised skills acquisition centre in the state.
He enjoined youths to avail themselves of the opportunity provided by the centre to equip themselves with prerequisite skills for self-actualisation.
On his part, the paramount ruler of Ifitedunu, Igwe Emeka Ilouno, expressed his community’s support for the contractor in a bid to ensure speedy completion of the project.