President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his administration was focusing on labour intensive industries to create jobs for the teeming unemployed youths in the country. The President disclosed this yesterday at a Presidential parley with the participants of Senior Executive Course 42 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) at the State House.
Buhari said the focus of the group’s research for the year, “Population Growth and Human Capital Development: Challenges and Opportunities”, was most appropriate in timing, just as he assured that its recommendations would be fully considered.
Buhari reiterated his commitment to creating more jobs, with particular focus on enabling the private sector, targeting more youthful population by streamlining priority on agriculture, arts, entertainment, mining and information technology.
“I have no doubt that you have evaluated the theme given to you. I can assure you that many of your recommendations would be considered to further enhance human capital development in the country. “Let me reiterate that our administration is committed to diligently pursuing investments in people, especially in our youths as well as most vulnerable and poorest members of society.
We will study and explore the creative and innovative recommendations in your report and direct implementations as soon as possible,” he said. The President told the participants that his administration had made tremendous efforts at diversifying the economy and reducing heavy dependence on the oil sector for government revenues and foreign exchange earnings. According to him, the government was refocusing the economy on agriculture, agro-processing, arts, entertainment, mining, manufacturing, information technology and labour intensive industries to generate millions of jobs for the teeming youths and able-bodied Nigerians, while gradually integrating the economy into the global economy.
“This administration developed the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan for 2017–2020, which focused on economic diversification and stabilization, making the business environment more competitive, as well as achieving macroeconomic stability by means of fiscal stimulus and improving the balance of external trades.
“We focused the plan on key sectors such as energy, agriculture, manufacturing, infrastructure, especially rail, roads, broadband networks. We have made considerable progress in food production, especially in rice. We will continue to encourage private capital for infrastructural development through Public Private Partnerships,” he said. Buhari noted that efforts had been made in putting in place various programmes to equip Nigerians, particularly the youth, with requisite skills for employment, entrepreneurship, and wealth creation.
The President said the Federal Government had taken steps to harmonise all operations related to technical and vocational skills development by all Ministries, Departments and Agencies, culminating in a new partnership between the Industrial Training Fund and Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association under a special initiative called the Technical Skills Development Project. In his remarks, the Director- General/Chief Executive Officer of NIPSS, Prof. Habu Galadima, thanked the President for providing strategic and purposeful leadership for the country in spite of daunting challenges, appreciating the administration for ably handling the COVID-19 pandemic. “We thank you for enormous investments in the people of this country through highly commendable programmes designed to take Nigerians out of poverty. One can only imagine the magnitude of the outcomes if these investments were not made,” he added.