Abuja – President Goodluck Jonathan, on Wednesday in Abuja, inaugurated a Presidential Jobs Board of Nigeria to create jobs for unemployed Nigerians.
The 31-member board comprising government officials and the private sector would be headed by Vice President Namadi Sambo.
The board, described by Jonathan as a special purpose vehicle, was charged with the responsibility of facilitating employment generation across the country.
He said “no one can deny that jobs are at the centre of economic revolution. In fact, the problem facing any head of government all over the world is Job creation.
“Jobs are essential to make our people live well and they are critical to the promotion of our people’s dignity.
“Jobs enhance self worth and it is a source of personal pride. Indeed, it is at the heart of national economic and social development.’’
According to the president, the board is carefully constituted to include key members of the public and the private sector to ensure that it can draw on the cross expertise of people in government as well as those in private enterprise.
The president urged Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government involved in job training to go further by creating employment opportunities for their trainees.
Jonathan listed some of such MDAs as the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Industrial Training Fund (ITF) and the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), among others.
“I have observed over a period that agencies of government are more interested in training.
“My conviction is that if you train 100 people and none of them is either self employed or employed by any corporation, that is a total waste.
“You are rather frustrating more people and probably increasing the number of criminals in the society.
“I always say that if you train a young man as a fitter and he has no job to do, he or she will use that skill to break into banks, because you have trained him on how to handle iron and how to handle complicated locks.’’
According to him, it is better to train 20 and to use the money for the 80 to create employment for the people
instead of training 100 people and none of them gets job.
The President said “it is not just how many people you train, but how many people you have given employment through that training programme.’’
Jonathan, who expressed confidence in the ability of the board members to deliver on their assignment, urged them to take the assignment seriously.
Responding, Sambo thanked the President for the initiative, which he said would address the challenge of unemployment in the country.