The World Bank has challenged Nigeria to create about 40 million qualitative jobs, between 2010 and 2030 to enable her recover from economic recession.
Country Manager, World Bank Group, Mrs. Eme Essien Lore, said Thursday at the inaugural meeting of Secretaries to State Governments (SSGs) of APC States, held in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos that there is need for government at all levels to streamline its policies so as to create enabling environment for growth of private sector in the country.
She said these jobs must be productive and produce higher income than what is obtainable in the labour market today, stressing that if properly handled, it will reduce and tackle social unrest.
“When we look at the need for job creation, what we checked was the number of young people entering the work force annually. And when we examine the number and look at Nigeria’s population today, we realized that Nigeria is a very young country, adding many more young people to the job market than any other African country,” she said.
“The country population is growing fast and in it is estimated to have the third largest population behind India and China in few years. Due to that, the country will need to create huge number of jobs to correspond with the population.”
She said the World Bank was also looking at the economic recovery plan launched by the Federal Government of Nigeria, and will align its objective with the plan.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, while inaugurating the forum, urged the SSGs on the need to be committed to the vision of their various governments by providing accountable, responsible and responsive leadership to the people.
The governor, who was represented at the event by his Deputy Governor, Mrs Oluranti Adebule, said despite the dire financial and logistical straits confronting states as a result of the declining growth in the national economy, the burden rest on government to devise ingenious ways and means of meeting the expectations of the people.
He said, “For us at the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), this is not a moment for self-adulation, but that of a vital self-examination and stock taking. Our desire to promote synergy and experience sharing as basis for the adoption and uniform implementation of policy initiatives across all APC states makes it necessary for us to frequently expose our thoughts, strategies and actions to the honest scrutiny of our colleagues.”
Earlier the Director General, of APC Governors Forum, Mr. Saliu Lukman, said the meeting was to share ideas, rub minds on how to effectively ensure good governance in all APC states.
According to him, “APC governments have adopted three policies; social, education and health which will be implemented in their respective states.”
Also the Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Mr Tunji Bello, said it was important to meet and share ideas and examine policies to see what has been done and how others can benefit from same gesture.