By Chijioke Okoronkwo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the Federal Government has, over the years, prioritised employment generation by integrating job creation in all its major policies, projects and programmes.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Monday in Abuja, said the vice president spoke at the formal presentation of the Research Report of Course 29 of the National Defence College (NDC) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The report is titled “Creating Jobs and Opportunities for Africa’s Largest Youth Population”.
Osinbajo recalled that when the president spoke about the budget in 2019, he mentioned that one of the critical things to do was that, with every policy, emphasis must be placed on job creation.
“So, the key question that we ask regarding any government policy is how many jobs will this bring about, how many jobs it will create.
“And aside from that, there have also been several engagements with different policy bodies and ideas concerning job creation.
“The whole idea of creating jobs and opportunities especially in an economy of this size, is that government’s involvement must be in creating the enabling environment.”
Osinbajo spoke on the current effort of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC) which was inaugurated recently – the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy (NPRGS), which he had the privilege of chairing its Steering Committee.
“This is another of the very broad plans of creating opportunities and more jobs.
“There are also other several job initiatives; the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) is a major plan of job creation, as a matter of fact, the major focus of the plan is job creation – sustaining existing jobs and then being able to create other jobs.
“The Food for Jobs programme which is an agricultural programme is a major initiative that has led to the identification of 5 million farmers, and these farmers are geo-tagged to their farmlands which is the first time that this has been done in the history of the country.
“They now have BVN numbers so that loans can be given to them and farm inputs as well.
“ So, the Food for Jobs Programme is a major agricultural plan.”
The vice president also spoke about the social housing and solar connections being components of the ESP, which have been prioritised by the federal government, to create jobs directly and indirectly for thousands of Nigerians, especially youths across the country.
Osinbajo commended the management of the college, adding that the NDC research initiative had been extremely useful in agitating the ideas, thoughts and policies that could influence the direction of government.
“I really want to commend the resourceful and insightful work that has been done especially with this issue of job creation, as you can imagine, this is obviously one of the critical problems that we have as an economy and a nation,” he said.
Earlier in his remarks, the Commandant of NDC, Rear Admiral Oladele Daji, said the presentation of the research report was in response to the vice president’s request for a research on job creation scenarios and strategy.
He said that Course 29 of the college, which comprised 96 participants across services within and outside the country, was presenting the report in fulfillment of the Higher Defence Management and Strategic Research.
The research report was presented on behalf of the Course 29 participants by Navy Capt T Ngada.
In another development, the vice president received, on a courtesy visit, the management of the Nigerian Exchange Limited, led by its Chief Executive Officer, Mr Temi Popoola.
The delegation made a presentation on the post-demutualisation activities of the Nigerian Exchange Group to the vice president.
Osinbajo commended the completion of the demutualisation of the stock exchange.
According to him, it is a welcome development and fantastic that the process is now complete.
He urged the management of the company to explore areas of growing the stock market by venturing into emerging frontiers.
The vice president assured the management of government’s support by way of policy to enable the company and the stock market reach greater heights.