The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige has urged all unemployed Nigerians to register on the online job portal of the Social Intervention Scheme of the Federal Government in order to benefit from different categories of programmes which government is offering. The registration on the portal, Npower.ng.org, ends Wednesday, August 31, 2016.
This is just as he disclosed that only 1.2 million unemployed Nigerians had so far registered for the scheme.
The Minister made the call over the weekend while flagging off the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) School-to-Work Programme in Calabar, Cross River State.
“Unfortunately as we speak, by last week, the portal for the Social Intervention Scheme had only recorded about 1.2 million persons. We expect more persons to have been registered on the portal before our screening exercise. The portal closes 31st August 2016 which is just few days away,” Ngige said.
“ For those who are not computer literate, we advise state governments to encourage them by using local government chairmen to move into local government areas to register the unemployed persons there, so that they can qualify to be considered for the scheme. Each state of the federation is expected to recruit about 1,500 persons.”
Speaking on the School-To-Work programme, which he summarised as an expression of a renewed vigour by the ministry under him to catch them young, the minister said it was also a bold attempt to build a future Nigeria where white-collar jobs would be unattractive.
“ We are building a generation of Nigerians where creative thinking, self-confidence and dignity of labour will challenge the prevailing unemployment scourge,” he added.
We are building a generation of Nigerians who will not only create wealth with their hands but are proud employers with skills from hands that God has given them.”
“ This is two month vacation creative job learning scheme for students in JSS 1 to SSS 2 classes. It is meant to provide them with skills early in life so that they can graduate and earn a living if they wish not to continue after secondary education or have an income earning skill to fall back on while doing higher education.
This set of students will graduate to higher skills training the next vacation while others succeed them. By this, we are re-thinking a university education system where graduates fold hands and wait for food on their table,” Ngige said.
The Minister disclosed that a total of one hundred and fifty persons will be trained yearly from each of the states of the federation under the scheme which has Calabar, Anambra, Bauchi, Katsina, Kogi and Ondo as the headquarters for the six zonal training centres.
He added that the programme was built with enough provision for decent work in line with the International Labour Organisation so as to foreclose the possibility of child labour in the course of training and after.
Earlier in an address, the Acting Director General of the NDE, Mr. Kunle Obayan said the NDE was constantly preoccupied with providing initiatives that will address the ever changing forms and patterns of unemployment .
He added that the programme was designed to provide diverse vocational, agricultural and entrepreneurial skills training for secondary school students during long vacation, saying that the age grouping was the best peak to tackle youth unemployment with acquisition of skills.
Speaking when the minister earlier paid him a courtesy call at the Government House Calabar, the State Governor , Prof. Ben Ayade commended the minister for his foresight and innovative approach in tackling the scourge of unemployment in the country.