News Column

World Bank Earmarks U.S.$300 Million to Fight Unemployment in Nigeria

August 19, 2014

Kehinde Olatunji

AS part of efforts to fight unemployment in the country, the World Bank is currently investing $300m and partnering with the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) to implement Skills for Job programme.

Representative of the bank, Prof. Foluso Okumadewa, said the NDE programme would gulp $50m.

At the World Bank Assisted Youth Employment and Social Support Operation Stakeholders Forum held in Ibadan to herald the skills for Job project, Director General of NDE, Abubakar Mohammed, said the World Economic Forum recently held in Nigeria revealed that about 112 million workers will enter Africa's labour market by 2020.

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 to 25 age brackets.

Describing the figure as disturbing, Mohammed lauded the World Bank for assisting in the nation!'s fight against youths' unemployment.

"This is a World Bank assisted programme and the component of it is Skill for Job. It is being driven by 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," he said.

The World Bank Team Leader for Youth Employment and Social Support Operation, Prof. Okumadewa said the bank was providing fund and technical support to the operation in Nigeria.

"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 of states and federal governments to the initiative," he said.

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Source: AllAfrica

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