Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Finance Minister
By Victor Efeizomor
The Federal Government has said measures have been put in place to strictly monitor the Subsidy Re-investment funds in all the states of the federation, to ensure compliance with the original purpose.
It also hinted that no fewer than 50,000 graduates would be given short term employment every year in the industrial and agricultural sectors.
Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, dropped the hint at the weekend after being honoured as Doctor of Philosophy of the Delta State University (DELSU), Abraka.
Okonjo-Iweala also said the Dr. Christopher Kolade-led committee on the Subsidy Reinvestment Fund was partnering various state governments to ensure compliance, adding that states were also expected to set up their own monitoring and evaluation mechanism at their levels.
She pointed out that the beneficiaries of the federal government employment opportunity would be employed by companies who desire their services on the recommendation of the government who would be partly responsible for their wages.
She said if the short-term workers were retained by the company after the one year programme, the federal government would give the company a tax break.
“We have another programme for graduates, 50,000 graduates a year who cannot find jobs. We just advertise for companies to employ them for year and the FG would pay and if the company retains them after, government would give that company a tax break,” she explained.
Okonjo-Iweala told journalists that the government was also supporting small entrepreneurs with “outright grants of N1 million to N10 million depending on their enterprise” and urged the youths to tap into the initiative.
Besides, she said there was a direct employment scheme for the unskilled to render community services, stressing that the various initiatives were geared toward encouraging youths to become self-reliant and employers of labour.
On the honorary doctorate degree conferred on her by DELSU, Okonjo-Iweala said she was “very proud” of the institution for helping to encourage the teaching and learning of Economics, a situation that prompted her to announce prizes for the best students in Economics at the University.