Minister of State for Labour and Employment Festus Keyamo, SAN, has commended the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) for addressing mass unemployment in Nigeria through the agency’s four-core programmes.
Keyamo who spoke during the NDE special day at the Enugu International Trade Fair stated that the directorate has been discharging its job creation responsibility through various schemes under the four-core programmes of vocational skills development, small scale enterprises, rural employment promotion and special public works programme.
A statement by NDE’s Deputy Director Information & Public Relations Edmund Onwuliri, quoted Keyamo as saying the agency had recorded appreciable impact, especially in the establishment of small and micro businesses across the nation.
The minister further said the impact of the NDE was in line with the next level plans of the Buhari administration which he listed to include business and entrepreneurship development that would engender vibrant private sector-controlled business environment.
Keyamo was represented at the event by the agency’s director inspectorate department, Mr. Alfred Hoomlong.
Earlier in his welcome address, NDE Director General Dr. Nasir Mohammed Ladan Argungu said the directorate had empowered about 28,545 persons between 2017 and December 2019 through the Micro Enterprise Enhancement Scheme (MEES).
Represented by Enugu state coordinator of the agency, Dr (Mrs) Chika Onah, the NDE boss said the scheme enabled existing micro businesses to receive enhancement loans in cash to stabilise and grow their businesses.
He commended the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA) for partnering with the agency towards exposing beneficiaries of NDE programmes to world class business opportunities provided by such a business forum like the Enugu International Trade Fair.
In his remarks, president of the chamber, Sir Emeka Nwadu, who was represented by the first deputy president, Barrister Jasper Nduagwuike, advised the federal government to give the NDE the responsibility of managing all initiatives regarding job creation and the Social Intervention Programme (SIP).
This, he said, was because of the agency’s track records and many years of meaningful engagement in the job creation space in Nigeria.