President Goodluck Jonathan said on Tuesday that his government will launch a job creation scheme that will enable young people with knowledge and capacity to employ other young people.
He revealed this while hosting Helen Clark, administrator of the UN Development Program, UNDP, at the State House, Abuja.
According to him, “We are going to launch a program to enable young people create jobs for other young people. Instead of government creating a hundred jobs, we will encourage those hundred to create enterprises and employ other young people, thereby multiplying the jobs.”
He also appealed to the UNDP to “robustly assist Nigeria in this program, aimed at providing jobs for the young people.”
He further told Mrs Clark that by November, Nigeria’s population would rise to 166 million with 50 percent under 35 years of age.
Jonathan said he appointed private sector operators into the economic management team in recognition of the crucial role the sector played in the provision of employment.
He pledged Nigeria’s willingness to partner with the UNDP in all areas of national development. The president also expressed his condolences to the UN family over the bomb blast at the UN House in Abuja.
Mrs Clark had earlier told the president that she came to Nigeria to offer the world body’s support “for your vision to transform Nigeria.”
She said the UNDP was determined to add value and expertise to the federal government’s efforts tackling health, environment, poverty reduction, climate change, agriculture and women development.
Mrs Clark acknowledged that most countries were facing the challenges of youth unemployment, but noted that “efforts must continue to be made to provide jobs, schools, shelter and food for this most important segment of society.”
The UN administrator commended Nigeria for “the tremendous support” it provided to the UN since the bomb blast, especially in health care, adding that this was because none of the blast victims taken out alive from the scene died.
At another meeting with the new Belgian Ambassador to Nigeria, President Jonathan restated his commitment to building virile institutions in the country, as a way of strengthening Nigeria’s democracy and making the country a better place for all.