Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige yesterday said the nation’s current unemployment rate was unacceptable.
No country, he stated, can develop by leaving out a vast percentage of its productive human capacity.
The minister said the current administration was committed to job creation and provision of decent employment opportunity for Nigerians within the productive age.
A statement from the ministry said Ngige spoke at a validation workshop on the reviewed National Employment Policy (NEP) organised by the Ministry in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria.
The minister said: “There is urgent need to engage a larger percentage of the productive age in decent, fairly remunerated and sustainable means of livelihood either as wage earners or self-employed while preserving existing gainful employments.”
Ngige stated the revised NEP addresses concerns such as employment of the physically challenged, international labour migration, decent work components and higher education for employability including green jobs amongst others.
He advocated objective and assiduous cooperation of all stakeholders to tackle the unemployment gap.
The Director ILO Country Office for Nigeria, Ghana Liberia, Sierra Leone and Liason Office of ECOWAS, Dennis Zulu, expressed confidence that the reviewed employment policy will enhance coherent, integrated and sustainable multi-sectorial response to combat the challenges of unemployment.
Zulu appealed to the federal government to ratify the ILO convention 122, saying that the reviewed national employment policy is already in line with the objectives of the conventions.