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Aisha Abubakar FG determined to turnaround the country´s fortune through robust policies

She said this on Thursday in Abuja, during presentation of the report on Skills Gap Assessment in the six priority sectors of the country´s economy.

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The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar play

The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar

(Today)

Hajiya Aisha Abubakar, the Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment says that the Federal Government is determined to turnaround    the country´s fortune through robust policies to ensure desired results.

She said this on Thursday in Abuja, during presentation of the report on Skills Gap Assessment in the six priority sectors of the country´s economy.

According to the minister, this is the first time the country is embarking on a skills survey of this scope, as the report is one of the initiatives and a driver to the delivery of key government policies.

She added that the initiative would bridge the gap between job availability and skills requirement in the country.

It also tries to establish that the nation has a pool of skills manpower it can suffice for every sector; therefore, the dependence on expatriates for every simple job is being discouraged.

“Every skills area we are lacking has been identified and solutions generated.

“The underlining benefit that will accrue from this study and its subsequent adoption will lead to increase in Foreign Direct Investment (FDIs) and reduced job and skills mismatch,´´ the minister said.

Abubakar added that the initiative would address the issue of expatriates exceeding their one per cent quota.

The minister, however, noted that while the country was blessed with abundant human and natural resources, harnessing such resources adequately for sustainable economic growth had been a challenge.

This, she said, had resulted in many negative consequences including high level of unemployment, underemployment, poverty and youth restiveness across the country.

She added that more efforts were however, being deployed in the development of critical mass of technical skilled manpower.

This, the minister added, was especially so because no nation could attain industrial and socio-economic growth without technical skilled manpower.

“It is against this background that the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment placed high premium on the revival of the nation´s economy.

“This is evidence in the diversification and industrialisation policy of the Federal Government,´´ the minister said.

She added that in order to resolve issues of low skills level among Nigerians, government and other stakeholders had invested heavily in vocational and technical skills acquisition programmes.

Abubakar noted that investment in skills supply without empirical Labour Market Information (LMI) often resulted in skills gaps.

She said that though the challenges of unemployment were enormous, it could be addressed by the formulation of policies and the implementation of strategies that would facilitate the acquisition of relevant skills.

The minister assured that the findings of the study would be looked into by government, with a view to bench-marking it with best practices in line with its policy on economic recovery and growth.

She appealed to stakeholders of skills development, especially those in the private sector to collaborate with the Federal Government in its efforts to build, redirect and lubricate the country´s economy.

She commended the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) for collaborating on the initiative.

She also commended other government agencies and critical stakeholders from the organised private sector for attending the event.

Also speaking, Mr Joseph Ari, the Director-General/Chief Executive of ITF, said the fund was set to establish an employment research section in its research and Curriculum Development Department to carry out employer surveys.

He said the fund would also develop a macro-economic model that would forecast the skills need in the various sector of the economy.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the minister of state, on assumption of office, challenged agencies under the ministry to join hands with the Federal Government in accelerating economic growth and rapid industrialisation of the country.

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