Rep Aminu Ashiru Mani, member representing Mani/Bindawa Federal Constituency in Katsani State is the Chairman House Committee on Lake Chad. In this interview, he said the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) is a key player in capacity building and the federal government’s commitment to job creation for the unemployed youth and women across the country.
You have been at the forefront of the fight against unemployment, what do you think the federal government must do this year to reduce unemployment in the country?
President Muhammadu Buhari cannot involve himself in every aspect of the country; he needs people to support him. Nobody is perfect; you can only specialise in one sector.
The federal government needs to focus more attention on the National Directorate of Employment (NDE). Since we are in government, we urge that this organisation is a key player in the capacity building which if handled well will yield positive result especially in reducing poverty in the country. A wise man said “you can’t barb someone’s head in his absence”.
The Director-General, Dr. Nasir Ladan Mohammed, has overwhelmingly brought change within a short period of time, it is not about age; there is passion and zeal. He’s leaving a legacy that people will remember him for.
Also, you must get good people around you. If you get good people around you can be able to work perfectly. Now that we have a high population of people, we have about 200 million people, this organisation will serve as a basic foundation that will work towards reducing poverty in the country. Let people have a means of livelihood, let them be employed, provide job opportunities then you will see how we will progress.
For me, with our high population, the federal government needs to fund the NDE to ensure efficient discharge of responsibility; it will help in fulfilling all the promise made during the campaigns and the manifesto of change.
This directorate touches every aspect, every discipline. Our major problem in most African countries is poverty, how do you solve that problem? It is through employment, empowerment.
Insurgency and kidnapping have become persistent in the country, how can it be curbed?
The insurgency, kidnappings and other crimes, are persistent as a result of unemployment, as a result of poverty. We all know that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop, once someone is educated but has no job, then there is a serious problem.
Someone can spend 10 years after his degree without a job. Not everyone will be employed after graduation, go to developed countries like China, they are talking about self-reliance, how to be independent.
It is better if someone did not go to school, but imagine a situation where someone who graduated from university but has no job to do, definitely there will be problem, by the time the youth is un employed then envy will set in. The solution is to strengthen the NDE.
Should there be synergy with NYSC?
My take now on the NYSC is that it should be stopped and money spent on the corps members should be given to them a start-up capital so they can be independent. Let us enact a law that will provide for our youth graduates to be given N500,000 capital each.
In the past, we had corps members once in a year but now, you have six batches in a year. In each batch, you have about three million graduates. Where will they go to? I urge for a synergy between the NYSC and the National Directorate of Employment. They should collaborate to help the youth tap into their potential skills, with capital for a startup. I call on the government to complete the building and employ more staff. The staff strength and working capacity in the organization are weak, we are talking about 2,000.
The agency should have at least 10, 000 staff. They should restructure the organisation just as they did to UBEC, TETfund. They should devise a way of generating internal revenue. NDE is just as important as CBN and NNPC.