The efforts of the Federal Government at reversing youth unemployment in Nigeria has received a boost, as the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, in partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB), has commenced work on a programme plan termed Youth Employment and Skills Development in Nigeria, Public-Private Roundtable.

Addressing a team of experts from AfDB, led by Rosemond Offei Awuke, Chief Development Economist, Human Capital Youth and Skills Development, in his office recently, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, affirmed that the problem of youth unemployment was very serious in Nigeria and other African countries.

According to him, “The youths constitute a larger proportion of Nigeria’s population; the pertinent question, therefore, is how many of these youths are fully employed, underemployed and unemployed? Alarmingly, the majority of Nigerian youths are in the underemployed and unemployed categories.”

Ngige emphasized that the public-private sector roundtable was very important to identify the factors responsible for high youth unemployment and make recommendations that would address the daunting challenges associated with it, as well as seek to implement most of the recommendations with a view to reverse the ugly trend of rising youth unemployment in Nigeria.

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The minister assured the AfDB team that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was not relenting in its efforts at creating recent jobs for Nigerian youths, adding that the quantum jobs being created through various intervention programmes such as N-Power further contributes to the gains.

“We assure you that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to all efforts aimed at job creation for the teeming unemployed Nigerian youths. I have no doubt that from this roundtable meaningful solutions will be provided on youth employment,” he said.

Earlier in her remarks, Rosemond Offei Awuke, appreciated the minister for his unwavering commitment to the fight against youth unemployment.

She restated the determination of the AfDB to support the present administration in its drive at job creation.