NAN – In an effort to address the high unemployment problem, especially among youths, the Federal Government has begun the provision of about 370,000 jobs across the country.The Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, made the announcement at the flag-off of the Federal Government Community Service Scheme, held in Yola on Monday.
The project, which is under the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), is part of the steps taken by President Goodluck Jonathan, to address the problem of youth unemployment.
“The programme is designed by President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration to create employment opportunities for up to 370, 000 women and youths yearly in the 37 states of the federation and the FCT, towards improving socio-economic infrastructure.
“To reduce the vulnerability of unskilled women and youths through exposure to income generating opportunities and to create good value systems in women and youths, through pre-engagement orientation sessions, ” Okonjo-Iweala said.
She explained that each state of the federation would benefit with about 10,000 jobs and every beneficiary would receive N10, 000 monthly.
Okonjo-Iweala, who expressed worries over the rate of unemployment in the country said that the country’s unemployment rate was still manageable, compared to some African and European countries.
“Youth unemployment is now a global problem as well as a big issue, but for us, we have to look carefully on how to tackle this problem.
“For example, in South Africa and Spain the rate of unemployment is now over 50 per cent each, while in Nigeria, the rate of unemployment is about 47 per cent,” she said.
She explained that the main objective of the programme was aimed at reducing the current level of unemployment and harnessing manpower towards national development aspirations.
She noted that the scheme had three components, including community services scheme, graduate internship scheme and vocational skills training scheme.
Speaking, Gov. Murtala Nyako, said that no fewer than 50,000 unemployed women and youths across the state were appointed Special Assistants to the governor, with each of them earning N10, 000 monthly.
“As part of my administration’s efforts to reduce the rate of poverty and unemployment in the state, 20 farming and skills acquisition centres were established in all the 21 Local Government Areas of the state.
“Three modern vocational and technical training centres were also established in the three senatorial zones of the state,” Nyako said.