The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) has said that his regime’s effort on job creation, consistency in policy and innovation stimulated a five per cent growth of the economy in the second quarter of 2021; the highest in six years.
This is as he assured young Nigerians that the newly-unveiled Jubilee Fellows Programme will further consolidate on these successes.
Buhari said this at the State House on Tuesday while speaking at the launch of the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme.
The President’s assertion was contained in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, titled ‘How we recorded biggest economic growth in six years – President Buhari’.
Listing some of the key drivers of economic growth and diversification in Q2 2021 such as telecoms, transportation, electricity, agriculture and manufacturing, he said his government’s policies and strategies are focused on employment and creating opportunities for Nigerians.
He said, “On Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, I set up the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy steering committee to coordinate our work to fulfil my promise to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in ten years. This is building on the positive results from the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan and the targeted response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic with the Economic Sustainability Plan.
“These efforts have yielded results with Nigeria recording its biggest economic growth in six years with a GDP growth of 5 per cent in the second quarter of 2021. The sectors that drove this growth are trade, telecommunications, transportation, electricity, agriculture and manufacturing. Each of these sectors showed significant improvement and thus created more jobs for our populace.
“An important part of our policies and strategies is the focus on employment and creating opportunities for our people. When this government was elected in 2015, we committed to increasing job opportunities for Nigerians and as part of our social investments programme we recruited 500,000 graduates into our N-power programme.”
He added that asides from the N-Power programme, “the jubilee programme will provide a pathway for young Nigerians to gain work experience in top tier organisations, gaining relevant skills and building the right networks for the future in various sectors including information and communications technology, financial services, trade, manufacturing, agriculture, agro-processing, mining, telecommunications, creative industries and technology, education, health, research and development, and public sector institutions.”
The President maintained that building the right skills and experiences across these sectors are important to sustain the economic growth we are experiencing.’’
He said the programme will build on other efforts of the government to support young Nigerians such as the N75 billion youth fund in the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, which was created to support young Nigerians in business or with business ideas, with N25 billion released annually for three years.
He assured future participants that the NJFP, being a fully paid post-NYSC work placement programme, would provide an opportunity for mentors who were already engaged in various industries, gained relevant experience and built capacity over the years to provide mentorship and support for young Nigerians.
“Beyond the skills and work experience, we will be building a new culture of mentorship and guidance that can chart a new course for skills development and work experience in our country.
“We believe that as this programme creates new opportunities for 20,000 recent graduates annually, the beneficiaries will use the opportunities presented to them and maximize their 12 months of engagement,’’ he said.
Buhari, therefore, encouraged all eligible Nigerians to apply for the jubilee programme, while urging private sector organisations to join by providing work placement opportunities, mentors and funding.
He thanked the United Nations Development Programme and the European Union for their support of the initiative.
In his remarks, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, said the government remains appreciative of the role of the private sector in transforming economies by creating employment and employment opportunities and investments.
He said start-ups, largely driven by young Nigerians, attracted 170 million dollars in the past year, which was the highest in Africa, explaining that the NJFP was to celebrate the nation’s 60th anniversary.
The Resident Representative of UNDP, Mohammed Yahya, assured that the UN will continually support Nigeria to move human potentials across the country to capacities and skills that will place the country on a better pedestal.
Also at the launch were the EU Deputy Head of Delegation, Alexandre Gomes, and UN Resident Coordinator, Edward Kallon.