The federal government’s National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) has, in three years, lifted no fewer than five million Nigerians out of extreme poverty.

President Muhammadu Buhari said this at the opening of the Global Youth Employment Forum of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Abuja yesterday. He said the forum was an opportunity for young persons to address the challenges of economic stability. Represented by Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, the president commended the ILO for committing to youth employment.

He noted that the federal government had an in-depth understanding of the rapidly changing demographics and the emerging world of work.“We note at this point that the issue of youth unemployment has assumed a global significance, and on the front burner of development discourse.

“The government of Nigeria understands the need to focus on youth empowerment by creating the enabling environment for job opportunities and capacity building.“The present administration, from the onset, made the investment in our people one of the key goals of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), which is the national development blueprint from 2017 to 2020.

“Implementation of the plan also has the flagship programme such as the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP). It has yielded some measurable outcomes in the form of increased school enrolment and the creation of more jobs.

“One of the key components of the NSIP is the N-Power programme, and its sub-components has led to the creation of job opportunities in different sectors of the economy for young persons,” he said.

Buhari noted that the sectors included agriculture, solid minerals, power, works and housing, trade and investment.
ILO director-general, Mr. Guy Ryder, called on government and the social partners to foster pro-employment growth and decent job creation through macro-economic policies.

According to him, right macro-economic policies will promote youth employability, youth entrepreneurship and rights to tackle the social consequences of youth unemployment.President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr. Ayuba Wabba, said the event was an opportunity to cross-fertilise ideas in addressing the global challenge of unemployment and under-employment.

Guardian