The World Bank and the National Directorate of Employment are collaborating to implement Skills for Job programme, with the global financial institution investing $300m to fight unemployment in Nigeria.
The World Bank Team Leader for Youth Employment and Social Support Operation, Prof. Foluso Okumadewa, said the NDE programme was one of the avenues through which the World Bank funds would be utilised.
Although the NDE project would gulp $75m, he said the bank would support the venture with $50m, with the government providing the balance.
Okumadewa said the bank was providing funds and technical support to the operation in Nigeria.
“The NDE is an implementing agency under the programme that the World Bank is funding. We are in partnership with the state designated agencies for youth employment and with the private sector organisation in each of the states. The bank is putting in $300m in the whole while the NDE component has $50m for this experimental programme. This will rise to about $75m with the contribution from states and federal governments to the initiative,” he said
The Director-General of the NDE, Abubakar Mohammed, said the World Economic Forum recently held in Nigeria revealed that about 112 million workers would enter Africa’s labour market by 2020.
He spoke at the World Bank Assisted Youth Employment and Social Support Operation Stakeholders Forum held in Ibadan on last week Thursday to herald the Skills for Job project.
He also said that the National Bureau of Statistics stated that unemployment rate in Nigeria had reached 38 per cent with 45 per cent of the unemployed population in the 18-25 age bracket.
He noted that the figure was disturbing and urged the nation to expedite its effort to reduce the employment rate.
Mohammed also commended the World Bank for assisting Nigeria in the fight against youths’ unemployment.
He said, “This is a World Bank-assisted programme. It is being driven by the NDE, with the federal and states governments, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, National Association of Small Scale Industries and other stakeholders involved.
“They are coming together to interact for the purpose of moving the country forward. Unemployment is a problematic phenomenon that changes in pattern, scope and form. We must constantly think of ways to address it and this programme is one of them. Our problem is that people go to school to get certificate and not skills; it is not good for development.”