The pangs of lingering unemployment crisis may have hit no fewer than 40 million Nigerians, who are currently in search of virtually elusive job placements, the Chairman of Subsidy Reinvestment & Employment Programme (SURE-P), Dr. Christopher Kolade has revealed.
Kolade however expressed optimism that the current SURE-P agenda would tackle the unemployment saga, given the avowed support from the Presidency.
The unemployment figure was computed through the estimation of National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), which indicated that 23.9 per cent of Nigerians are unemployed.
Speaking yesterday during the Sensitization and Mobilisation Programme organized by the Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS) in Ado – Ekiti, Ekiti State, he disclosed that President Goodluck Jonathan is committed to solving the employment problem through the SURE-P
Kolade, who was represented by the Technical Assistant to Community Services, Women and Youth Employment (CSWYE) noted that through the GIS, the President Jonathan was making all efforts to ensure that the employment problem which has accumulated for years is being addressed drastically.
“Through the GIS, we have the mandate to create 50,000 jobs. This sensitization workshop is therefore very important to us because it is part of our commitment to ensure that the GIS achieves the objectives for which it was set up”, he said.
He noted that President Jonathan has demonstrated his commitment to tackling the challenge of youth employment by providing the necessary platform and funds.
The programme, which was organised by the GIS in collaboration with Kalends Consulting, was aimed at making most Nigerian graduates more employable through training and mentoring.
The Project Director of the GIS, Peter Parka said: “National Bureau of Statistics in 2011 indicate that 23.9 per cent of Nigerians are unemployed. This means that about 40million Nigerians need employment. Government is concerned about this high unemployment rate and he is doing everything possible to reverse it.”
He noted that one of the challenges of graduate unemployment is inability of the system to absorb the nearly 300,000 graduates churned out by our universities and other tertiary institutions each year.”
The Ekiti State Chairman of the SURE-P, Femi Akinyemi disclosed that about N120 million has been released by the Federal Government to address the unemployment problem in Ekiti State.
Information from Guardian was used in this report.