June 26, 2014 -The Federal Government has said that Nigeria needs to create at least 1.8 million jobs annually to be able to tackle unemployment in the system.
Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga who made the revelation at an occasion to inaugurate the Digital Reality Complex, Yaba, Lagos said that one major component affecting improvement of infrastructure in the country was lack of power supply.
“We need to create a minimum of 1.8 million jobs annually. To keep the unemployment level at 33 percent,” adding that anyone establishing companies in the country is assisting the central government to provide the needed platform to create jobs for the teeming unemployed youths.”
He explained that one major method to sustain the existing jobs and to create new ones was that citizens of the country must support the existing and new companies through patronage.
The minister emphasized that no nation improves when they exports their raw materials to industries in other countries. “The time has come for Nigerians to embrace and start the process of becoming more industrialized.”
Aganga stated that countries that are witnessing growth in industrialization, international trade and related services are those that are reducing their poverty level.
According to him “I am happy that the level of investment in the country is increasing and the local investors are taking the lead in investment. And that was why Nigeria has become the destination for investors in Africa lately.”
The minister recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan in February this year launched the Industrial Regulation Plan, to make the country the number one industrial nation in the continent.
His words: “At the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, UNIDO conference recently, we presented the country’s industrial plan to the leaders present at the conference. And they adopted the Nigeria as one of the countries in Africa that will receive UNIDO’s support to boost industrialization in their country.”
Aganga noted that the international organization will help to bring the required finance to the industrial sector.
Fashola while harping on the need to provide infrastructure that could aid the industries, said that lack of constant power supply has forced some entrepreneurs to relocate their factory outside the country.
“I remember that I spoke to an entrepreneur and he lamented that the major problem confronting entrepreneurs in the country was lack of power supply. He said that he relocated to Dubai, United Arab emirate, UAE because it was cheaper to produce there than in Nigeria.
“We can imagine how many of those jobs we have shipped out of the country because there was no power supply for the industries to operate effectively. There are many establishments that could change life in the country that were kept abroad.”
The governor urged the Federal Government to address the issue, saying “There is need to create more jobs to ensure that we keep the youths in the country engaged.”