The Federal Government has advised unskilled and unemployed Nigerians to take advantage of the National Directorate of Employment, NDE, employment creation programmes to be self-employed.

The Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo, made the call in his message to the NDE Special Day at the just-concluded Enugu International Trade Fair.

The minister, who was represented at the occasion by the Acting Director-General of the agency, Mallam Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo, explained that the Federal Government had put in place several policies and programmes to create mass employment opportunities for the unskilled and unemployed in Nigeria.

He commended the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, ECCIMA, for consistently organising the annual business gathering, noting that Trade Fairs are veritable platforms for encouraging business growth.

The minister added that the theme of the Fair: Promoting New Technologies, Business Ideas, and Strategies for Rapid Economic Growth and Development in Nigeria, is in tandem with the policy thrust of the Federal Government aimed at reviving the economy after the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In his welcome address, the acting Director-General, represented by Mr Alfred Hoomlong, Director in charge of Inspectorate Services, informed that about 96,000 unemployed youths and women were recruited and trained in various vocational skills by the NDE from January 2018 till now.

According to him, a total of 13,000 graduates of vocational skills had been resettled with basic equipment and start-up capital.

The Acting Director-General added that the NDE collaborated with the CBN, through the bank’s Agricultural, Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme, AGSMEIS, saying about 5,000 NDE trained persons in agricultural skills per state would be able to access loan packages from CBN.

Speaking concerning the ongoing Extended Special Public Works (ESPW) Programme, the NDE Chief Executive explained that the programme is designed to provide temporary jobs for beneficiaries who will receive a monthly allowance of N20,000.

The projects being executed, according to him, is Environment specific and include Infrastructure rehabilitation/maintenance, traffic control, street, and sweeping.

Dignitaries at the event inspected the NDE pavilion, where many successful beneficiaries of various programmes of the Directorate exhibited their goods and services.

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