The All Progressives Congress may not in the foreseeable future be able to fulfil its campaign promise of paying unemployed Nigerians N5000 stipend as the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, James Ocholi, said yesterday that government has no data of the unemployed persons and those who are employed.
The Minister said the government plans to bring all skill acquisition centres in several ministries under one roof for maximum utilisation.
Speaking at the APC secretariat, Ocholi said the government plans to employ many untrained graduates and train them to teach in secondary schools
He explained that the Teacher Conversation Programme is aimed at mopping up unemployed graduates, but have degrees in relevant areas and can teach Secondary School Students.
The Minister decried the lack of statistical data of the unemployed, saying: “Before we got to where we are, there was no data anywhere. There is no data of the unemployed. In fact there is no data of the employed. It is a bad situation”.
He said the ministry has started the process of gathering data of both the unemployed and the employed Nigerians saying: “As l talk with you, there are experts working on the software on how to capture the details of the unemployed and the employed.
“And for those who are employed, there are many who are in the wrong places. There are many who are in working and they are not enjoying the job and want to have jobs better than what they are doing.
“There is a firm that we have sourced for, working with the National Directorate of Employment, (NDE) right now. The NDE has done a pilot scheme in Bwari and they have an office in Lobito crescent right now working in preparation for a mega scale.
“What it takes to get that data ready is part of our work. Our work does not begin when the data comes out because the data itself does not employ people.
“So we have decided to identify how many skill acquisition centres we have in this nation and the capacities of each one. There are more than 76 of them. We have also discovered that the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs has a lot of skill centres in the Niger Delta region which were built but do not have capable hands with resources, with skills to be able to train. The Ministry of Agriculture has several as well as the Ministry of Finance.
“So we have decided to do a memo to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) for Mr. President to galvanize all such centres and bring them into one fold. Then we can do a planning on how many people each centre can take for the next three months.
“We will look at what is the nature of the skill that can be acquired within that period of time, what do we do to sustain those people that will acquire the skill and when you acquire those skills, what stipends can be paid to them to keep them in the training so that while being trained you earn something. That will bridge the gap between now and when they open their shop and begin to employ labour”.