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Over 15million Nigerians are jobless, projects to address unemployment is just a ‘drop in the ocean’ – Chris Ngige

Nigeria’s Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige has revealed that over 15 million Nigerians are unemployed and scouting for white collar jobs.

Speaking to newsmen in Enugu on Monday October 14, the Minister said the Buhari-led administration has launched certain projects to address the unemployment issue but added that “it is like a drop of water in the ocean.”

The Nation reported that Ngige further stated that Boko Haram and IPOB started off as a result of unemployment.

“Unemployment is growing into a very vicious disease condition that has given rise to a lot of anti-social behaviour. And government is seriously worried because if we don’t confront unemployment head on with many measures which we are fashioning now, then the whole country will be consumed with social unrest.

“The symptoms are there. Boko Haram is a symptom of unemployment in Nigeria. IPOB is a symptom of unemployment and desperation and people getting frustrated.

“Same goes for banditry in the north-west. Same goes for kidnapping all over the country — north-west, north-east, north-central, south-east, south-south and south-west.

“Avengers — the destruction of pipelines, OPC, all these are symptoms of very serious underlying disease condition called unemployment.

“We are doing something, but I think what we are doing is not enough. Government has used diversification into agriculture to fight unemployment. Yes, it was successful where people agreed to turn themselves into farmers.

“We have also used ad hoc procedures like N-Power programme. It is like a drop of water in the ocean. We have employed through that process 500,000 people, about half a million. But we have those searching for white collar jobs in the neighbourhood of about 15 million.

“So, we have to do something — to teach people new vocations, new skills, so that not everybody will be going for white collar jobs. Even if you have a university degree, you can be taught some skills so that you employ yourself or even get employed somehow. So, we are going to do that or it is on the table.

“We were lucky President Muhammadu Buhari came in. If not, we would have all dispersed into neighbouring countries. We would have had social unrest that would be internecine and by now, we would not have solved it. So, we are on with our thinking caps.”

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