ABUJA, FCT, Nigeria – As part of efforts to address the scourge of unemployment in Borno State, Governor Zulum, was at the National Directorate of Employment, (NDE), in Abuja on Thursday.
NDE’s Director General, Dr Nasiru Argungu, said Zulum was the first northern Governor to visit the Directorate, hence, the state has priority attention in addition to security challenges has also conferred comparative advantage.
While addressing the DG and his directors, Zulum said his visit was to acknowledge some training opportunities already provided to Borno citizens by NDE, and also explore avenues which the state could benefit to create jobs for its teeming unemployed youth.
The Governor said addressing the problem of mass unemployment looks promising in tackling some of the root causes of Boko Haram insurgency in which some fighters were attracted through economic means.
He explained that security and youth empowerment are critical in his twin approach to insurgency.
“Our interface with the NDE will open a vista of opportunities for us to see how genuinely we can train our youth to have sources of livelihood and become beneficial to the society”, he said.
The Governor lamented over some groups who make interventions claim to conduct specialized trainings within days; and described it as unrealistic.
“We have seen situations where somebody can tell you that they have trained welders in one week, or tailors in one week. I have even heard someone said they trained carpenter in three days. The situation is very obvious and will not be allowed to remain unchanged.”
The Governor said he was at the Directorate alongside his Commissioners of Higher Education as well as Science, Technology and Innovation, to directly discuss areas their ministries will engage the NDE.
Responding, the NDE DG, Dr Argungu, commended Zulum for his aggressive efforts in Borno State.
He explained that the mandate given to NDE is to create jobs through entrepreneurial development that involves identifying established experts in vocational jobs, pay them to train applicants and also pay stipends to the trainees during the learning period.
“We combine three things: We do not move trainees out of their communities. We identify resident entrepreneurs who have the skills and the workshops like mechanics, carpenters et cetera and we pay them to train applicants based on their chosen fields.
“We also pay stipends to the applicants when they start training. What we now need is for Borno to identify what they want and we will provide them with very special interest,” he said.