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Buhari targets ICT, entertainment, three others for job creation

By Idowu Abdullahi,

 

As part efforts aimed to reducing unemployment in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that his administration would be focusing on five critical sectors in 2021 by partnering with the private sector.

He listed the sectors that would be focused on to include agriculture, arts, entertainment, mining and Information Technology and that all hands would be on deck to actualize the focus.

Buhari while reiterating his administration’s commitment to creating more jobs, said that priority would be placed on the selected sector with particular focus on enabling the private sector to target the youth population.

Speaking at a presidential parley with the participants of Senior Executive Course 42 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies at the State House on Thursday, the President said that the group’s research for the year, “Population Growth and Human Capital Development: Challenges and Opportunities’’, was most appropriate in timing, and the recommendations would be fully considered.

“I have no doubt that you have evaluated the theme given to you. I can assure you that many of your recommendations would be considered to further enhance Human Capital Development in the country.

“Let me reiterate that our administration is committed to diligently pursuing investments in people, especially in our youths as well as most vulnerable and poorest members of society. We will study and explore the creative and innovative recommendations in your report and direct implementations as soon as possible,’’ Buhari was quoted as saying in a statement released to newsmen by his spokesperson, Femi Adesian.

Furthermore, the President explained that his administration had made tremendous efforts at diversifying the economy and reducing heavy dependence on the oil sector for government revenues and foreign exchange earnings.

“We are refocusing the economy on agriculture, agro-processing, arts, entertainment, mining, manufacturing, information technology and labour intensive industries to generate millions of jobs for our teeming youths and able-bodied Nigerians, while gradually integrating the economy into the global economy.

“This administration developed the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan for 2017–2020, which focused on economic diversification and stabilization, making the business environment more competitive, as well as achieving macroeconomic stability by means of fiscal stimulus and improving the balance of external trades.

“We focused the plan on key sectors such as energy, agriculture, manufacturing, infrastructure, especially rail, roads, broadband networks. We have made considerable progress in food production, especially in rice. We will continue to encourage private capital for infrastructural development through Public Private Partnerships.’’

President Buhari noted that efforts had been made in putting in place various programmes to equip Nigerians, particularly the youth, with requisite skills for employment, entrepreneurship, and wealth creation, which include the Presidential Youth Empowerment Scheme, N-Power scheme, Youth Entrepreneurship Support Programme, Graduate Internship Scheme and Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria programme.

Buhari commended management and members of faculty of the National Institute for getting participants of Senior Executive Course 42 to focus on a theme and present a report as experts on the subject matter.

In his remarks, the Director-General/Chief Executive officer of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Prof. Habu Galadima, thanked the President for providing strategic and purposeful leadership for the country in spite of daunting challenges, appreciating the administration for ably handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Director-General noted that the participants for Senior Executive Course 42, 2020, were properly guided by daily briefs and guidance of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

“We thank you for enormous investments in the people of this country through highly commendable programmes designed to take Nigerians out of poverty. One can only imagine the magnitude of the outcomes if these investments were not made,’’ he added.

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