The Ministry of Labour & Productivity and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) of Nigeria are currently working on a partnership aimed at creating more jobs.

Speaking at the Annual General Meeting of the SMEDAN in Lagos, the agency’s Director-General, Alhaji Bature Masari, mentioned that job creation was the main focus of the 2016 budget.

“Youth employment agency to be established to train about 370,000 non-graduates in vocational skills. School feeding programme to be introduced in all primary schools in Nigeria. Microcredit scheme to be established to cater for about one million market women and artisans. Conditional cash transfers to the tune of N5, 000 to the poorest families monthly,” he said.

If due attention is given to the development of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises, the country could be counted among the 20 most economically advanced nations in the world by the year 2020, the agency director explained.

“The 2016 budget proposals have made major provisions for driving the development of MSMEs. SMEDAN will continue to support the development of MSMEs for economic growth and development in Nigeria through innovative and sustainable policies,” he added.

The Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige also said, “The programmes of the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari are focused on employment generation. To this end, there is a change in our 2016 budget from what it used to be in the past because this year, we want to tackle unemployment and we will tackle it from all facets using programmes such as graduate conversion scheme and vocational skills acquisition programme among others, to ensure that our young ones are empowered for self-sustenance.”

The labour ministry will need a lot of funds to effectively achieve its goals at creating more jobs.