The National Assembly (NASS) have urged the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige to tackle youth employment in the country through various vocational skills acquisition and entrepreneurship development programmes.
The Chairman Senate Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity, Sen. Suleiman Nasif and his House of Representatives counterpart, Hon. Ezenwa Onyebuchi, made the call during the presentation of the 2018 budget by the ministry.
The committees urged the minister to deal frontally with the menace of youth unemployment by widening the scope of the various vocational skills acquisition and entrepreneurship development programmes being championed by the ministry.
According to the committees, employment generation is a critical area, which the ministry needs to do more upon the passage 2018 appropriation bill.
However, the committees expressed readiness to visit project sites of the ministry with a view to ascertain the level of compliances and implementation as part of their oversight function.
The committees also commended the minister for effective and efficient utilisation of the ministry’s 2017 budget, especially in the area of youth empowerment through skills acquisition programme.
Earlier, Ngige said that the commendable state of the ministry was as a result of the concerted and diligent implementation of budgeted projects and programmes in 2017 appropriation.
He also noted that this was in spite of the paucity of budgetary releases.
“We were operating on only 20 per cent budgetary release until January 2018.
“Our budget performance for 2017 would have surpassed expectations of Nigerians and critical stakeholders, if not for the paucity of funds for the implementation of plans and programmes.
“This is in terms of critical areas of capacity building, strengthening of labour councils and other capital projects which were not fully funded due to the global economic recession, ‘’he said.
Ngige while speaking on the seemingly challenges of 2017, expressed optimism that the Ministry will fully implement its capital project before closure in March 2018.
He added that we are very hopeful that we will be able to complete many of the outstanding projects and programmes of all the line items of our 2017 budget before capital budget appropriation closes in March 2018.
“We are happy that the financial portals have just been re-opened. We, however, pledge to do more before the end of March 2018, ‘’ Ngige said.
Follow us on twitter: @youthsdigest