Unemployment: FG to launch labour statistics system – Ngige

Ngige, labour

By Ukpono Ukpong

As part of efforts to tackle the high rate of unemployment in Nigeria, the Federal Government has revealed plans to launch a labour statistics system where unemployed Nigerians at home and abroad, could apply for available jobs.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige made this disclosure at a media parley with labour correspondents in his office.

Ngige noted that in the United States of America, the Department of Labour issues labour statistics, which is a very vital statistics needed for tackling unemployment.

He said: “But over time that we have been here, it is not funded. You don’t also blame them. Everybody wants to build bridges and airports and go. But they forget that with labour statistics and matching, you can fight unemployment. With that you know who is where at any given time. And people abroad, especially those with specialties, who want to come back, can enter that system to know where to apply to for jobs,” Ngige said.

Ngige assured that the system will come up in the next one month or two at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, for official launching in two months’ time.

He recalled that his ministry earlier established a labour exchange system for merging and cross-matching labour supply and demand in the country.

“In our electronic labour exchange system, both people who are looking for work and recruiters can enter the system where we merge and match them. We do what is called cross matching and people are gainfully employed. This is facilitation of employment.”

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Speaking further, Ngige said his ministry has gotten involved in some international projects with foreign partners, which Nigeria has not hitherto been doing, adding that for the first time, the American Government was putting up a grant for women and children in Nigeria and Liberia.

“For children, they are doing that to stop child labour. You know that child labour is a kind of poverty. People who ask their children to go to mines are looking for money from those miners. It is the same thing with hawking. Children are on the streets hawking while others are in school. They are in the streets hawking to make ends meet. The same goes for cocoa plantation.

“We are fighting child labour. The American government has agreed to assist us. We have two programmes. One is for $5 million and another one for $ 4 million is specific to Nigeria for areas where granite, columbites and others, are mined. We have not been loud in announcing them because we don’t want the American Government to withdraw. When the programmes take off, we can announce.”

According to the minister, a Nigerian implementer has been appointed for the programmes while ILO will be rendering technical assistance.

While applauding the ILO for being up and doing in the area of technical assistance, he urged the organisation to sustain the momentum.

He said this ministry has finished the validation of new laws and sent the bills to the National Assembly for legislation and passage, among them, the upgrade of the Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP) to a full-fledged commission.

“We are hopeful to get the National Assembly to pass the bills before the end of February.”

Other top officials of the ministry in attendance at the media parley include the Permanent Secretary, Ms. Daju Kachollom mni, directors and other unit heads in charge of various departments.

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