The President Goodluck Jonathan’s led Government, Monday expressed worries over the rising rate of unemployment in the country, statting that about 23.9 per cent are not gainfully employed.
This shows that over 39 million Nigerians are unemployed.
Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala made this known while speaking during an interactive session on Graduate Internship Scheme, GIS, in Abuja yesterday.
According to her, an average of 1.8 million youths are still struggling in the labour market annually out of which about 250,000 to 300,000 are graduates.
The minister noted that in the first phase of the GIS programme, up to 50,000 unemployed and under-emeployed graduates will be engaged by the end of the 2013 as interns in reputable organisations to horn their skills and make them relevant in today’s workplace.
She further added that at least 1000 unemployed graduates would be engaged in every state, noting that the programme will rise up to 100,000 in the second phase.
According to her, about 1,937 firms have registered for the scheme out of which 1,371 were verified and 293 were approved while 1,078 were rejected for their inability to meet the minimum requirements. As for the interns, 84,772 of them made up of 59,872 males, 24,900 females and 329 physically challenged, applied.
“As at date, only 1,159 interns have been deployed across the country,” she said.
“For firms to be eligible for the GIS, they must be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and must provide evidence of Value added Tax (VAT) registration and tax clearance certificates.
Also, firms must be prepared to provide a mentoring plan for each intern and interns must be graduates between ages 18 and 40 years and they must have completed the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) or be exempted. For the interns, she said, they will be provided an orientation training to prepare them for the workforce.
They are also assigned a mentor in their place of internship to provide direction and support their career development. Above all, the interns get a monthly stipend of N18, 000 from the government for 12 months,” she noted.