The federal government has called for increased participation of the private sector in creating jobs for the populace, especially the youth, for national development.
Minister for Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, made the call in Abuja at the flagging-off of a two-day Sensitisation Workshop and Technical Meeting on Skills Development and Youth Employment organised for the public and private sectors
He urged the private sector to play frontline roles on matters of job creation and skills development in the country, as it possessed the necessary potential to do so.
The Minister, represented by Director, Special Duties and Projects, Dr Martina E. Nwordu (Mrs), tasked the participants to come up with strategies to stimulate the Organized Private Sector (OPS) to demonstrate commitment to youth unemployment.
He said government was deeply concerned about the high unemployment rate in the country, and was in search of new strategies to reduce the rate.
He said the creation of model Public-Private-Partnership (P-P-P) projects, at least one in each state of the federation, could solve some of the country’s myriads of development problems, such as “energy insufficiency, infrastructure deficits, poor access to potable water, pervasive sanitation problems, food insecurity, etc.”
He acknowledged the enormous potential of the private sector in providing larger volumes of jobs, and posited that the combined effort of Government and the private sector, a P-P-P system, would yield the much needed employment for the nation’s unemployed, especially the youth.
He described the private sector as “a repository of current knowledge, skills, technology, information and expertise that constantly evolve to meet global trends”, and urged the nation’s private sector to employ these attributes in creating jobs.
The minister said the P-P-P system had been deployed in other countries to create jobs and solve development problems, and therefore enjoined Nigeria’s private sector to emulate those systems and step up their effort in job creation and skill development through P-P-P.
“Best practices on Public-Private-Partnership for job creation have been cited in India’s Metro System Project, Singapore’s Water System Project, Pakistan Renewable Energy Project, among others,” he said.
Also speaking, the Director of Special Duties and Projects, Dr Martina E. Nwordu, said the objectives of the workshop include “to review the status of existing P-P-P understandings between the Ministry of Labour and key partners and come up with strategies to firm up loose ends and activate processes for faster outcomes.”
She said the workshop would also “examine the eight model projects earlier proposed for implementation under P-P-P vis-à-vis the current priority needs of the country and relevance to the labour market;” among other objectives.
Represented by Mr Tony Uwalaka, the Director said that the expectations of the workshop are “strengthened P-P-P on job creation and Skills Development in Nigeria to propel massive job creation for the unemployed; and implementation pathway for one model P-P-P projects on jobs in each of the states of the federation.”
Participants at the Workshop were drawn from relevant Ministries and Agencies of Government and other stakeholders including Federal Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development, Education, Budget and National Budget, Solid Mineral, Mines and Steel Development, New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Nigeria, Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), and Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), among others.