N-Power: FG Urged To Expand Scheme, Concession Money-Spinning Outfits (Source: Twitter)
N-Power beneficiaries (Source: Twitter)

A business consultant, Nerus Ekezie, has urged the Federal Government to expand the N-Power programme and concession most of the government money-spinning outfits to curb the rising unemployment rate.

Concise News reports that Ekezie, a former director, National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), gave the suggestion in an interview with the NAN on Tuesday in Lagos.

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He was reacting to the Minister of  Labour and Employment Chris Ngige’s statement that Nigeria’s unemployment level will reach 33.5 per cent by 2020.

Ngige said this in Abuja when he declared open a two-day workshop on “ Breaking the Resilience of High Unemployment Rate in the Country.’’

According to him, the high unemployment rate of 23.1 per cent and the underemployment of 16.6 per cent by the National Bureau of Statistics’ (NBS) report for 2019 was alarming.

Ekezie says the issue of high unemployment rate would not have arisen if successive governments had put certain infrastructure in place.

He says in the current circumstances, the N-Power programme by the current administration had the potential to employ more graduates and non-graduates with skills by expanding the programme.

According to him, the necessary tools that will change their means of livelihood from employees to entrepreneurs will be a good innovation.

“The programme should be adopted by various states regardless of party divides. The unemployment figure has been on the increase over the years because most young people do not have the right skills.

“The times we are have changed from the past and gone are the days when one graduates from tertiary education and will immediately secure a job without any skill.

“One needs to have some basic skills, which will include knowing how to write a business plan and should be able to multi-task adequately if one must belong,” he says.

He notes that unemployment was on the increase because the country’s economy had not grown to the rate expected compared to the volume of young Nigerians graduating from schools.

Also, he suggests that the government could tackle the unemployment challenges by urgently completing key infrastructure to boost the economy.

“The authorities should accelerate the completion of the modern railway network that connects the western part of the country to the south in order to open up the economy of the zones.

“The government should concession the over 20 airports in the country to boost businesses and create employment opportunities,” he says.