The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, has said that the federal government’s target is to ensure that millions of Nigerians are lifted out of poverty line while at least 50 per cent of the population is captured in the social security net to address unemployment
The Deputy Director (Press) in the ministry, Mr. Samuel Olowokere, in a statement on quoted Ngige as saying that the social intervention scheme was one of the cardinal programmes of the administration to address unemployment.
The statement said the minister announced the scheme while presenting the country’s position at the on-going World Social Security Summit in Panama City, Panama.
He said that the objective was to tackle youth unemployment and restiveness through job creation, notwithstanding the tough economic challenges facing the country.
He said, “Some of the programmes in our integrated social protection scheme are already being implemented as evidenced in the 200,000 graduates who will commence work by next month.
“The decision of the Federal Government to employ 200,000 graduates in the first phase, in spite of the teething economic challenges is quite a good one.
“It is an eloquent expression of its dogged commitment to lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty,’’ he said and promised that more jobs were coming.”
Speaking on the theme “Evolving Role of Social Security in a Changing World,’’ Ngige said that in spite of the challenges facing the country, the federal government would remain committed in pursuing its social security goals.
He added that the priority attention being given to healthcare delivery system to the rural dwellers was core to the agenda of the government.
He also said that the government was poised to give more support to the operations of the National Health Insurance Scheme as well as that of the National Pension Commission.
The minister gave assurances that the activities of the National Social Insurance Trust Fund were being enhanced to make it more responsive to achieving social security goals.
At a bilateral meeting with the Chinese Minister of Human Resources and Social Security, Mr. Yin Weimin, Ngige sought China’s assistance in developing and deepening Nigeria’s social protection programmes.
He said that Nigeria would tap into the Chinese model of social security academy, adding that the effort was to institutionalised social security practices in the country since China won the award for the best social security nation for 2016.
He said, “This is because they were able to capture 100 million persons yearly into their social security, totalling a billion in the last decade.”
The summit was organised by the International Social Security Association, a major social partner of the International Labour Organisation and hosted by the government of Panama.
It brought together ministers and representatives of international organisations to complement the commitment of ISSA members to excellence in the administration of social security.