Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has revealed that unemployment rate in Nigeria will be at 33.5 per cent by 2020.
He made this disclosure suring a two-day workshop on “Breaking the Resilience of High Unemployment Rate in the Country”, on Thursday in Abuja.
According to him, the 2019 report of 23.1 per cent unemployment rate and underemployment of 16.6 per cent by the National Bureau Statistics (NBS) was alarming.
He said, “It is a worrisome status as the global poverty capital (World Bank, 2018); and concomitant high prevalence rate of crimes and criminality, including mass murders, insurgency, militancy, armed robbery, kidnappings and drug abuse, among others.
“As if this situation is not scary enough, it is projected that the unemployment rate for this country will reach 33.5 per cent by 2020, with consequences that are better imagined, if the trend is not urgently reversed.
“It is a thing of joy to note that Nigeria has not been resting on her oars over the years in terms of dedicated efforts to curb the unemployment problem,” he said.
The minister noted that various government social intervention programmes targeted at reducing youth unemployment and eradicating poverty have been implemented by different administrations since Nigeria gained independence.
He added that available records showed that between 1972 to date, about 14 different programmes were implemented, including the National Accelerated Food Production Programme (NAFPP), implemented between 1972 and 1973.
Others were the current National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) which hasn’t been ongoing since 2017, embedded in the National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020.
However, he noted that despite efforts, unemployment rate and poverty levels are on steady paths of growth, indicating high resilience against the intervention efforts.
The minister said the purpose of the workshop was to find solutions to the alarming increase in unemployment rate over the years.
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