David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has said the president Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government created over eight million jobs in less than three years.
Ngige said the jobs were mostly blue collar jobs, which he said, comprises the main hub in employment generation today.
He said farming, carpentry, brick-laying, tiling and many others constitute the blue collar jobs which the federal government is now using to redeem youths from joblessness occasioned by lack of white collar jobs.
The minister, who spoke to journalists weekend at Ifitedunu, Anambra State after the ground breaking ceremony of a specialist skill acquisition centre, said because of the huge employment potential in the blue collar jobs, the federal government decided to build centres where it would give youths of all educational qualification different levels of training that would help them secure jobs.
He said, “There are no white collar jobs any longer. If you are waiting for one, you will wait for a long time.
“People are now finding employment in the blue collar jobs, and it is even more profitable. How many of you are aware that the day pay for carpenters and other artisans have increased? In Abuja they collect as high as N10,000. If they get jobs even if it is five times a month, do you know how much that is? How many white collar jobs pay that?”
Ngige said the unavailability of artisans was because most of them have gone to farm, and there was need to train a new generation of tillers, builders, and people in other crafts.
“In farming alone, this government has generated lots of jobs. You eat Anambra rice here, others eat Abakaliki rice, in Abuja I eat Kano rice and even Imo too has come up with their. All these bring employment”, he said.
Speaking on the Ifitedunu specialist skill acquisition centre, the minister said the centre was budgeted for in 2017 budget, and was again captured in the 2018 budget.
“What that means is that the funds for the project are already available. There is no fear of the project being abandoned. Federal government will construct this skill acquisition centre with maximum dispatch,” he said.