By Teslim Olawore
Joseph Ari, the Director-General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has said that the number of unemployed Nigerians rose from 17.6 to 20.9 million between the last quarter of 2017 and the third quarter of last year.
Ari while speaking at a news briefing on Thursday in Abuja, said the unemployment record was sourced from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
He said, “Despite the fact that the number of people in employment increased from 68.4 million in the third quarter of 2015 to 68.72 million in the third quarter of 2016 to 69.09 million in the third quarter of 2017 and 69.53 million in the third quarter of 2018.
“The statistics are scary and staggering and should not only be a source of worry for any administration that is as committed to the welfare of Nigerians as the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari but indeed all patriotic Nigerians.
“This administration has made tremendous efforts to create jobs as could be seen in the increase in the number of people employed as cited by the NBS report.
“There are countless reasons for us to worry as government, as institutions vested with the arduous task of equipping Nigerians with life skills for employability and entrepreneurship we will do all we can, there is no doubt that unemployment has wrought a terrible damage on all facets of our national life.
“No reasonable analysis will divorce unemployment from the needless incidence of violence that has claimed thousands of lives across the nation. It will equally be difficult to separate rising criminality and harmful social vices that are being perpetrated by Nigerians because of unemployment and the attendant poverty. Consequently our population that should be a resource has become an albatross because we cannot provide a greater proportion of our population with a source of livelihood.
“ITF outlined 11 implementable programmes for 2019 which are: National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP); Women Skills Empowerment Programme (WOSEP); air-conditioning and refrigerator (training on wheels); design and garment making; training on wheels for Nigerian youths under passion to profession programme; skills training and empowerment programme for the physically challenge (Step C); aquaculture fish farming; manure production; crop production and greenhouse technology; poultry farming and training programme development on international marketing and test running.”