The Washington-headquartered World Bank has been making $300 million investments in Nigeria in order to alleviate the alarming rate of unemployment in the country.
The global donor has also decided to execute Skills for Job scheme jointly with the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) so that the situation can be improved.
The World Bank s Representative Prof. Foluso Okumadewa has stated that the NDE scheme will involve $50m expenses.
The NDE s Director General Abubakar Mohammed has disclosed that around 112 million people will go into the African labour market within 2020 as per the recent World Economic Forum that took place in Nigeria.
He has made this revelation during his speech at the World Bank Assisted Youth Employment and Social Support Operation Stakeholders Forum in Ibadan to roll out the skills for Job project.
Mentioning the National Bureau of Statistics, he has revealed that unemployment rate in Nigeria has touched the shocking figure of 38%, while 45% of the unemployed Nigerians come under the age group of 18 to 25.
Mohammed has termed the unemployment rate in Nigeria as distressing, and commended the World Bank for its support to the country in its efforts to reduce widespread joblessness among young Nigerians.
The NDE official stated, 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.
The Team Leader for Youth Employment and Social Support Operation, World Bank, Prof. Okumadewa has stated that the global donor will deliver its support in the form of funding and technical assistance to the initiative in Nigeria.
Prof. Okumadewa further said, 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.