Nigeria : The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) trained about 23,512 Nigerians in various vocational schemes in 2016, its Acting Director-General, Olakunle Obanya, has said.
Obanya told newsmen that although the number represented a slight improvement over the 2015 figure, it was however a far cry from the number of persons trained by the agency in 2013 and 2014, adding that body’s efforts were hampered by poor releases of budgeted capital funds.
He said due to poor budgetary releases, the Directorate was unable to implement some of the critical job creation initiatives it planned for 2016, such as the registration of the unemployed and the rice production project through cooperative societies in the six geopolitical zones.
He said out of the N1.8 billion capital allocation to the NDE in 2016, only N154.058million was released, leaving a balance of N1.7 billion thereby affecting the ability of the Directorate to deliver maximally to the nation.
While expressing optimism that 2017 will be better for the Directorate, Obanya said already, it has secured a collaboration with the Michigan State University in the US, to train about 10,000 graduates with sponsorship from MasterCard. He said in the coming year, NDE intend to engage 720,000 unemployed youths in agriculture by keying into the CBN initiative of Anchor Borrowers scheme for which about 72,000 cooperatives have been registered, while another 7,770 young graduates would be trained to function as Smart Farmers agents nationwide.
Obanya said as part of government’s efforts at diversifying the economy, using non oil initiatives, the NDE will empower graduates and non-graduates with skills that will enable them add value to mining operations.
Activities in mining he said, will include training artisans in the identification, cutting and polishing of gemstones in order to increase their value, while graduates would be trained to identify and organize sales outlets for finished products.
He said as part of its efforts to enhance effective skills delivery at its various skill centres, 68 of them will be rehabilitated in 2017, while the complete refurbishment and retooling of 18 mobile training workshops and 111 mobile training caravans, will be carried out.
He said the Directorate intends to train 39,220 unskilled and unemployed persons in various skills under its Vocational Skill Development programme, pointing out that provision of the resettlement of 45 per cent of the number has been captured in the 2017 budget estimate, adding that the directorate plans to replicate its toothpick and pencil factory in the six geopolitical zones of the country with the successful commissioning of the first of its kind in Akure.
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