President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday inaugurated the Presidential Jobs Board with a task to develop road map that will gradually on monthly and annual basis create millions of jobs for the young people.
The Board which has Vice President Namadi Sambo as Chairman and Tony Elumelu as Vice Chairman have been mandated to create three million jobs in 12 months as a starting point.
Other members of the board from the public sector are the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF Anyim Pius Anyim, Minister of a Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison- Madueke, Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, Labour Minister, Emeka Wogu, Agriculture Minister, Akinwumi Adesina, Solid Minerals Minister, Musa Sada, Health Minister, Onyebuchi Chukwu and minister of Education, Ibrahim Shekarau, Godwin Emefiele among other Ministers as members.
The representatives drawn from the Private Sector includes Aliko Dangote, Atedo Peterside, Innocent Chukwuma, Bisi Onosanya, Ben Petters amongst others.
The President who said the board was carefully constituted to include key members of the public and private sector, to ensure that the Board draw on the cross expertise of people in government as well as those in private enterprise, added that the board will facilitate employment generation across the length and breath of the country and report to Nigerians it’s progress from time to time.
“No one can deny that jobs are at the centre for economic revolution, in fact the problem facing any head of government all over the world is Job creation. They are essential to make our people live well and they are critical to the promotion of our people’s dignity. Jobs enhance self worth and it is a source of personal pride. Indeed it is at the heart of national economic and social development.
“We have carefully constituted the job board to include key members of the public and private sector, this is to ensure that the Board can draw on the cross expertise of people in government as well as those in private enterprise.
“Let me charge department and agencies of government that have been training people over the period, like SMEDAN, ITF, PDTF, NDE, NIMASA, Women Affairs and other agencies that do that as a part of their responsibilities to improve on their services.
“There is a missing link, because there is a difference between training people to acquire skills and job creation. I have observed over a period that agencies of government are more interested in training. My conviction is that if you train 100 people and none of them is either self employed or employed by any Coporation that is a total waste, you are rather frustrating more people and probably increasing the number of criminals in the society. I always say that if you train a young man as a fitter and he has no jobs to do, he will use that skill to break into banks, because you have trained him on how to handle iron and how to handle complicated locks.
“So if he is not employed, you have created more problem for the society. Instead of training 100 people and none of hem will get jobs, train 20 and use the money for the 80 to create employment for this people. It is not just how many people you train but how many people you have given employment through that training programme.
“So if you are training don’t just come and tell us that you train 100 or 1000 people, but how many of them are either self employed or are gainfully employed. That is the task of this board their job is how are we going to create jobs for the people,” the President said.
Sambo in his remarks, thank the President for the opportunity to serve and the confidence reposed on them, assuring that they will work to realize the three million jobs creation.
The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Dieziani Alison Maduaeke, noted that the President has brought together, private sector financiers, as well as, a mix of key public sector players to turn things around.
She said, “I do believe that in the oil and gas sector, we had focused critically in the last three years, in ensuring that Nigerians get the tools that they need in securing jobs in the sector that was otherwise mystified which we are trying yo demystify. We had brought in Nigeria content so strongly that at no time in Nigeria’s history have you seen this number of Nigerians across the spectrum of expertise coming into the oil and gas sector. They did not need to be petroleum Engineers or even Geologists. They only needed to have the abilities to learn and come at different level to come into the entire spectrum of the down stream service sector of the oil and gas. As you all know, it has been a great success and it is now being repeated across other sectors of the economy.
“As we concentrate working in gas to ensure working in tandem with the power ministry, Central Bank of Nigeria, as well as, the Electricity Regulatory Commission, that we are able to power our IPP over the next 18 months, we will change the face of the economy in the entirety.
“We are also simultaneously looking to ensure that Nigeria has gas for industrialization and that we bring in the Petrochemical plants that you are hearing about now, methanol plants that will begin to move aggressively into the LPGs. You can imagine the number of jobs just the LPGs will create”.
She disclosed that government also has pilot project that has been very successful, changing Taxi cars from fuel to gas powered automobile which are much more cheaper than petrol.
“So, there are so many areas, where Nigerians can come in learn the tools of the trade and take over employment. Of course, PTDF has been training people for many years in welding.
“I think there are hosts of opportunities for Nigerians with the array of expertise Mr. President has put together here”.
Tony Elumelu stated that the committee was encouraged by the various policies put in place by the Federal Government in its transformation agenda in the Housing, power, ICT, housing mortgage sector, oil and gas sector, therefore, to create three million jobs will not be difficult, Kenya created over 700,000 jobs within one year.
“What has encouraged us to be part of it is the transformation initiatives of the federal government
” We are happy that we have the Minister of Petroleum Resources here among us who has played a strong role in the transformation from the point of view of indigenization bringing in Nigerian players in the oil and gas sector.
“The committee was also charged by President Jonathan to ensure that they trained people for employability”.
Elumelu assured that the committee will ensure that Nigerians are trained to make them employable.