As part of the efforts to curb the increasing statistics in the rate of unemployment in the country, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has offered job ideas to all Nigerians.
Naija News understands that Ngige believes Nigeria’s high unemployment rate is not unconnected to the fact that Nigerians embrace white collar jobs, rather than the blue collar jobs that are largely neglected in the country.
Recall that the unemployment rate in Nigeria stood at a staggering 23.1% at the end of the third quarter of 2018, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Ngige urged Nigerians to embrace entrepreneurship while reacting to the worrisome unemployment statistics during an interview on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday, April 24.
He noted that the Federal Government has an established vocational skills policy, but that Nigerians think blue collar jobs are beneath their status.
In his words, he said; “It (unemployment) was an issue and that was why we did an advocacy and told people not to look at only the white collar jobs. There are blue collar jobs. Skills. You have to train your hands. You have to do plumbing, carpentry, tailoring.
“We had to do the vocational skills policy. The NDE (National Directorate of Employment), one of my parastatals, has at least three or four vocational skills programmes.
“We have our specialist skills centres in Lagos, Ibadan, Kaduna, Bauchi, Calabar, Warri, Enugu, and all over the federation.
“We now have many in collaboration with the state governments. We send them people to train them. And people come in there as apprentice and after we finish with them, we empower them.
“But the problem is that, how many people are ready to come there and train?
“They regard those jobs as jobs that don’t befit people’s status, but it’s not true. We’re counselling people that going to do these jobs doesn’t make you an inferior person.
“But here, everybody wants a (white) collar job. They want to stay in air-conditioned office. They want to work in the bank or oil companies and nothing less than that.”
In his reaction to the unemployment rate in Nigeria, Ngige praised President Muhammadu Buhari-led government for improving the nation’s economy by developing the agricultural sector.
“The government went into agriculture and started encouraging farmers,” he said.