The Federal Government has pledged to create more programmes to tackle unemployment and insecurity in the country.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, said this when he received a delegation of the Organisation of the Trade Union of West Africa (OTUWA) in his office on Friday in Abuja.
Ngige said that the government would inject more resources to buoy up activities in the informal sector of the economy and further strengthen the production capacity of entrepreneurs in the COVID-19 economic recovery plan.
He said this was part of the multi-pronged strategy of the federal government to create jobs and tackle insecurity.
“In Nigeria, the fatal blow of the COVID-19 pandemic is felt more on earnings and food production. The informal economy is badly hit.
“This is where you have people with no tenured appointment or jobs; the partially employed, the working poor.
”The job losses are huge in this sector. We are therefore committing more efforts to lift millions in this bracket out of poverty. More programmes will be introduced in the near future,” he said.
The minister commended the Central Bank of Nigeria for its interventions in the government economic recovery plans, noting particularly the recent one-year moratorium given on interests to entrepreneurs.
He added that ”in Nigeria, our Central Bank has been alleviating the pains of workers in the private sector, even employers – the industrialists who, for instance, have been given one-year moratorium on interest on funds sourced through the CBN.
“We are focused on these programmes because we know full well that the consequences of negative turns in the informal economy are at the base of insecurity in the country.
”To this extent, there is no zone in Nigeria that is not affected by one insecurity problem or the other.
“So, the theme of the workshop by OTUWA, which was on COVID-19 and the economy of the West Africa sub-region, could not have come at a better time.
”It is a very useful step towards economic recovery and I do hope you make the conclusions from the workshop available to governments in Africa, especially our West Africa in particular, for integration into recovery plans,” he said.