From WALTER UKAEGBU, Abuja
The Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation Initiatives, Josephine Washma, has said that the Federal Government intends to carry out a census of all unemployed persons in the country early next year. Washma, who spoke to Daily Sun at the end of year dinner party organized by the management of Premier Petroleum Company Limited in Abuja, said the new survey, which will be carried out nationwide, will form the basis for the implementation of job creation initiatives of government. She said President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the setting up of a standing Committee on Job Creation, to be headed by the Minister of Labour, Chief Emeka Wogu, to fast-track employment generation in the country.
“We are embarking on a new unemployment survey, in conjunction with the National Bureau of Statistics, to update the existing data base. We believe that NBS already has the structures to ensure successful survey,” she said. According to the special assistant, the issue of unemployment cannot be properly assessed without a reliable data base. He added that proper job planning cannot be done without the knowledge of the number of the unemployed.
“So until we know how persons are unemployed, how many are skilled, the number that unskilled and how many of them can be given training upgrade. What has been done before was a general survey but we want to segment that do as to enable us to direct efforts at those areas that are of critical importance. Speaking on the renewed effort by the government to tackle unemployment crisis, Washma said President Jonathan has set-up a standing Committee on Job Creation, chaired by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Nwogu.
She said the committee which is to be inaugurated soon will drive the President’s intervention initiatives aimed at addressing joblessness among the youths in country . She said there will be a job creation musical show coming up early next year in conjunction with local and foreign entrepreneurs. “It is something we should all look up to and give a chance to see how it tries to solve the unemployment problem in the country and by extension the issue of insecurity,” she said.
The Presidential aide said the committee will try in the interim to build on the unemployment data provided by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and to move on to conduct unemployment surveys. She said NBS is also a member of the committee. “There are various employment generation programmes being ran by government agencies but what we we need to do is to reassess such initiatives and to see if they actually adding value or need to be restructured in certain ways to fit into the present expectations. “Let me say that the issue of unemployment has also to do with unemployable, that is the fact that a lot of our school leavers do not possess the require skills to attract employers of labour.
Their were CVs that I could not present even to traders in the market. So we are engaging on consultants that will help train these school leavers on how to prepare a resume because resume is the first step to securing a job. It is your marketing/selling point because the applicant might not be physically present when his application is being discussed, “ she said. Washma said she had cause to take a look at some of the curriculum vitae submitted by employment seekers recently, only to marvel at the poor presentation put up by our graduates.