N5,000 stipends: We don’t have statistics of unemployed Nigerians, says Minister

Minister-of-State-for-Labour-and-Employment-James-Ocholi

The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, James Ocholi (SAN), on Wednesday revealed that the ministry currently does not have data on the number of unemployed Nigerians.

It requires the data to enable it prepare the template for beneficiaries of the proposed N5,000 stipends for the unemployed/ vulnerable Nigerians.

The minister said this while responding to questions from reporters at the National Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress, Abuja.

According to him, the ministry recently commissioned a firm to capture the data of the under-employed/ unemployed to enable it prepare the necessary template for the effective take off of the scheme.

He also explained that the ministry has written a memo to the President through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation for it to take over the over 76 federal skills acquisition centres spread across Nigeria.

Ocholi said, “Before we got to where we are there is no data anywhere. There is no data of the unemployed.

“In fact, there is no data of the employed. It’s a bad situation but as we talk with you, we have experts working on the software and the various things which we have discussed with them on how to capture the data of the employed and the unemployed. And for those who are employed there are many who are in wrong places.

“There are many who are in jobs they don’t even enjoy and who want to have a job better than what they are doing right now.

“There is a firm that we sort for and is working with the National Directorate of Employment, they have done a pilot scheme in Bwari and they have an office in Lobito Crescent right now and they are preparing for a mega scale on job profiling.”

He explained that experience has shown that there were people who have acquired a particular skill but are not suited for the kind of jobs they find themselves doing.

The current administration he noted was determined to provide an enabling environment for the private sector which is the driving force in the area of job creation to thrive.

In response to specific plans towards actualizing the disbursement of the N5,000 stipends to deserving citizens, the Minister said details were being worked out.

He, however, said beneficiaries will be categorized in such a way that graduates who will attend skills acquisition centres will be paid something above what they earned as youth corps members.

Ocholi said, “In other words, while being trained you earn something, that will bridge the gap between now and when they begin to open their shops and employ their own labour. Part of the N5,000 you hear may not actually end up being N5,000.

“For instance, if a graduate chooses to go and acquire a skill and is taken to a centre for skill acquisition and he was earning N18,000 or N19,000 or whatever the range is as a youth corper, he can’t come back here and start earning that N5,000 it can’t sustain him.

“For a graduate, he may need to get something higher to keep him or her while going through that skills acquisition centre but for the retraining programme which we talk about teachers. The details are being worked out by the technocrats.”

PUCNH

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