Abuja - The Minister for Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Tuesday in Abuja said no fewer than 1.8 million graduates in the country move into the labour market every year.
Okonjo-Iweala, who is also the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, made this known during a meeting with delegates of the Arewa Youth Forum on issues of youth development in the Northern part of the country.
She said that the data was generated by National Bureau of Statistics and that it was to enable the Federal Government to ascertain the level of youth unemployment and come up with policies to address it.
"I am proud to say that after two months of methodological work, the statisticians have come up with the data that 1.8 million people in the country enter the job market yearly.
"I am happy to tell you that last year we were able to create 1.6 million jobs. So we are getting close to the 1.8 million that enter the job market.
"We also have a pool of 5.3 million unemployed graduates that have been accumulating over the years.
"So our strategy is to come up with policies that will cover the number of entrants every year before taking care of the backlog,’’ she said.
The minister said that President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration was doing a lot to create employment opportunities for the youth.
"Through YouWin programme, we have had 3 600 winners, among whom 2 400 winners have created 27 000 jobs so far. Our target is to create a minimum of 80 000 jobs through this.
"Through SURE-P, so far we have created 120 000 jobs. While YouWin is geared towards graduates, the SURE-P is for those youths who may not have gone through school or did not complete their education.
"The President has launched the National Mortgage Re-finance Corporation which will not only provide housing for the low income earners but will simultaneously create thousands of jobs for our youth.
"We are targeting 10 000 mortgages this year and for every house you build, you create five direct jobs and two and half indirect jobs, which can create another 75 000 jobs,’’ she added.
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