The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) yesterday said 20.9million youths are currently unemployed.
It blamed the development on lack of skills acquisition and advised the unemployed to go for skills acquisition instead of depending on white collar job.
It said the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report stated that between the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2017 and Q3 of last year, said this is in spite of the fact that the number of people in employment increased from 68.4 million in the Q3 of 2015 to 68.72 million in Q3 of 2016 to 69.9 million in Q3 of last year.
ITF said what the report indicated is that although government efforts to creating jobs may be having impact, the number of unemployed is still on the rise.
It is also estimated that Nigerian tertiary institutions produce up to 500,000 graduates every year with only a fraction able to secure employment.
The Director-General, ITF, Joseph Arii, who spoke during an interface with stakeholders on strategies for job creation by the government in Abuja, said President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has made tremendous efforts to create jobs as could be seen in the number of people employed as cited by the NBS report.
He said: “Today, across the length and breadth of the country are visible evidence of government’s efforts to get Nigerians engaged. From Social Investment Programmes such as N-Power initiative, Tradermoni, Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP) and Home Grown School Feeding Programme to the numerous skills acquisition programmes being implemented by agencies like the ITF, the government has done enough to be applauded.
“ITF has for instance equipped over 450,000 Nigerians with life skills and empowered all the beneficiaries with start-up packs within the last two years. “Over 80per cent of this number today are earning sustainable livelihoods either in paid employment or successful entrepreneurs who are employing others.” The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Industry, Trade and Investment, Sunday Akpan said President Buhari has strengthened the resolve to stem rising unemployment by creating jobs through the provision of employable skills for our teeming youths.
It is on this basis that the ministry urged ITF to come up with revolutionary multi-faceted job wealth creation strategies that would lead to a lasting solution to this hydra-headed problem.