The Federal Government has created 1.4 million jobs in the past three years in a bid to address unemployment in the country, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, said on Monday.
Okonjo-Iweala said this at a conversation meeting on government policies, programmes and activities organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Abuja.
While acknowledging that unemployment was one of the major challenges facing that government, she said that efforts were ongoing to adequately address the challenge.
“The administration of President Goodluck Jonathan is working tirelessly to create 1.8 million jobs in each year but we have made tremendous impact by creating 1.4 million jobs in the past three years.
This shows that we are making progress in developing the economy of the country.’’
According to her, the president is also making progress to create about two million additional jobs in the near future so as to bridge the unemployment gap.
She said that the Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (YouWin) programme had also created about 22,000 jobs.
She described YouWin as an innovative business plan competition aimed at job creation by encouraging and supporting aspiring entrepreneurial youths in Nigeria to develop and execute business ideas.
Okonjo-Iweala also stated that the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE- P) programme was also creating jobs for youths.
“It is also worthy of note that the Graduate Internship Scheme of SURE-P has placed many Nigerian graduates on jobs while some of these graduates have been employed by their employers.”
The minister also added that the present administration had been active in bringing other improvement to the economy through institutions that can help youths have access to their houses in the future.
She said that actualizing this prompted the ministry to introduce a mortgage scheme that would facilitate this goal.
“Out of the 66,000 people who applied for the mortgage houses, 23,000 have been cleared while 9,700 people have been offered mortgages.
This, we believe, will also encourage the creation of more jobs in the country.’’
The minister commended the present administration for providing three billion Naira grant for the creative industry, saying that it would support the manufacturing industry in providing jobs for the teeming youths.
In his address Mike Omeri, the Director- General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), stressed the need for Nigerians to keep themselves abreast of developments in the country.
Omeri urged Nigerians all over the world to engage in productive activities that would stand them out for the benefit of mankind.
“Everyone of us are heroes who can take our place in the world. There is a place for Nigerians all over the world and it is you and I that can take that place. We should take advantage of the values to replicate it in our various lives to benefit from government policies, programmes and activities,’’ he said.