A partnership between the government and the private sector is the surest and fastest way to create jobs for the teeming population of unemployed Nigeria, a former head of the Federal Inland Revenue Services has said.
Mrs. Okauru, who is also chairperson of the Board of trustees, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), spoke at the Lagos State Sustainable Wealth and Employment Creation Stakeholders Summit on Thursday.
She said the private sector should latch itself to “well-intentioned initiatives” by governments to reduce unemployment.
“It is equally important for the private sector to also recognize its important role on this wealth and job creation journey, by offering itself as a partner on these exciting and well-intentioned initiatives.
“By partnering with government to create jobs, the private companies not only show themselves as responsive corporate citizens, but such actions also improve the demand for their products and services, as Nigerians are lifted out of poverty and increase their disposable income,” she said.
She explained that the private sector and the government should create a synergy where they support one another in their common task of job creation.
“Let me reiterate the central theme of this address – that both Government and the private sector are joined at the hip on this journey of inclusive growth. One cannot succeed without the other, and future interventions must be collaborative.
“An effective collaboration between Governments, across various levels, the private sector, civil society and individuals is critical to a sustainable solution.”
Mrs. Okauru had earlier lamented the frightening rate of youth unemployment in the country. She said it was disturbing that graduates were stuck with their parents at home with no jobs.
She said the rate of unemployment was now spiraling out of control that it called for everyone’s contribution to create jobs.
“Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I must state this clearly; the time to roll our sleeves up couldn’t be more urgent than today. We had unemployment challenges when the economy was in a much better shape, now we are facing even more challenging times and the unemployment figures continue to grow.”
She said she was glad that the federal government had placed job creation on top of its priority list.
She added that the Lagos State government, with the knowledge of the huge population of the state created a new ministry – Lagos State Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment – to help create jobs.
“The Federal Government has rightly identified job creation as a critical anchor of nation building, and created a dedicated office, the Job Creation Unit, within the Office of the Vice-President.”
“At Lagos State, the creation of a new Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment shows the Government’s dedication to creating wealth and boosting employment. In addition, the Lagos State Governor inaugurated the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund Board, which I have the privilege of chairing, to enable entrepreneurship and employment opportunities for Lagos residents.
“The creation of the Ministry and the Employment Trust Fund is a signal of Lagos State Government’s focus on solving the employment and wealth creation challenge,” she said.
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