The Federal Government has inaugurated the National Employment Council to curb the menace of rising unemployment in the country.
Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, said this while inaugurating the National Employment Council and unveiling the revised National Employment Policy on Thursday in Abuja.
According to Mr. Ngige, there is need for a shift from reactive and temporary measures to curbing the menace of rising unemployment in the country.
“As job creation policies and programme must anticipate future labour market requirements rather than reacting to it.
“In coordinating implementation of strategies to fast-track employment creation, we must bear in mind that such strategies are most likely to be successful.
“That is, if it anticipates future labour market requirement rather than reacting to them.
“We have to move away from past approaches where strategies for employment creation and poverty alleviation were a response to a crisis or a temporary measure to mitigate the impact,” he said.
Mr. Ngige, who noted that unemployment was a global challenge, observed that Nigeria like other nations needed to make concerted efforts towards curbing the menace.
The minister added that the concern is even more urgent due to the association of youth idleness to perennial violent crimes in the different parts of the country which poses a threat to socio-economic stability.
Mr. Ngige said that the task before the inaugurated council was formidable and expressed confidence in the ability of the Council to come up with the solutions to the menace.
According to the minister, the council should in the medium and long-term reverse the current alarming trend of unemployment.
“The task before this council is formidable.
“However, we have confidence in the calibre of members of this council, which is made up of renowned experts, practitioners and policymakers in the field of development and employment promotion,
“I have no doubt in my mind that you have what it takes to proffer solutions that will ultimately halt and in the medium and long-term reverse the current unemployment situation in the country,” he said.
Earlier in his address, Bolaji Adebiyi, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, affirmed that unemployment, underemployment and poverty are critical challenges that would require the concerted efforts of all stakeholders to address.
Mr. Adebiyi said it was in a bid to holistically address the unemployment crisis that the National Employment Policy was formulated.
He said this was aimed at consolidating into an integrated and coherent document, a beacon for the attainment of full employment for all Nigerians, particularly the youths.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the National Employment Council members whose membership was provided for in the National Employment Policy comprises representatives of Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ministry of Finance, and Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning.
Others are Ministry of Youths and Sport Development, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Works, Power and Housing, Ministry of Women Affairs, Ministry of Trade and Investment, Central Bank of Nigeria, National Bureau of Statistics, among others.