The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has said Federal Government’s programmes under the Muhammadu Buhari administration have created about eight million jobs through agriculture and vocational skills training.
The minister said rice production created new millionaires across the country.
He also said the government had embarked on advocacy, promoting blue-collar jobs.
Ngige spoke yesterday when he appeared on Channels Television’s morning programme, “Sunrise Daily”.
He said: “We did food security arrangements, tackled agriculture. The government went into agriculture and started encouraging farmers.
“Government programmes have yielded a lot of fruits. If you go to the agricultural belts of Nigeria – Kano, Jigawa, Katsina, Anambra, Enugu, Ogun, Kebbi states – rice production created a new group of millionaires, the farmers.
“And there is the backward integration of the rice mills, jute bag manufacturers and the rest of them. A lot of jobs have been created, numbering about 8 million now.
“We did advocacy and told people not to look at white-collar jobs; there are blue- collar jobs, skills. You have to train your hands: you have to do plumbing, carpentry, tailoring.
“We have mini-collaboration with the state government. We send people to the skills centre to train them and people come in there as apprentices. After we finish with them, we empower them. But the problem is that how many people are ready to come here and train?
“The responses to the programmes are low. They regard those jobs as unbefitting to people’s status. But it is not true.”
Also, Ngige said medical doctors who desire to leave Nigeria are free to do so.
He said the country has sufficient medical personnel.
The minister said he was not bothered by the large number of medical doctors leaving the country.
He was responding to questions about brain drain and deliberate recruitment of Nigerian doctors by foreign embassies.
Ngige said: “I’m not worried. We have surplus (doctors). If we have a surplus, we export. I was taught Biology and Chemistry by Indian teachers in my secondary school days. They (doctors) are surplus in their country. We have a surplus in the medical profession in our country. I can tell you this. It is my area; we have excess. We have enough, more than enough; quote me.
“There is nothing wrong. They go out to sharpen their skills, earn money and send them back home here. Yes, we have foreign exchange earnings from them, not from oil.”
The minister also said the number of doctors leaving the country did not amount to brain drain.Source: SounDaza
SOUNDAZA MEDIA (INC)Lekki Phase 1 (Lagos State , Nigeria)