To launch state Employment Expenditure for results project in the Niger DeltaArticle | August 29, 2012 – 2:17pm | By Eki Toju

Unemployed youths in Nigeria

The World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, has reported that they are preparing a $300 million Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) for Nigeria.

Speaking in Abuja at the opening ceremony of the 54th Annual Conference of Nigerian Economic Society (NES), Marie-Nelly said that the employment project is aimed at supporting the provisions of immediate work opportunities and skills development for unemployed youths and women from poor households.

She also said that the youth employment project will cover about 20 states of the country.

Marie-Nelly said that a major issue in Africa is youth employment and the “youth bulge” has yielded an estimated seven to 10 million additional young people seeking employment every year.

According to her, because Africa has not achieved structural transformation at 15 percent, manufacturing share of GDP is lower than it was in 1965, thereby making productive employment opportunities for the young people severely limited.

“In Nigeria, for the past five years, there has been an average of about 1.8 million new entrants into the active labour market every year, according to NBS. This means that one in five of all new job seekers in Africa is Nigerian. Getting it right here will have positive region-wide implications,” she said.

She said that World Bank was also launching a state Employment Expenditure for results project in the Niger Delta, with support from the European Union.

Marie-Nelly revealed that they were also working with the federal government and various states to advance the nation?s business atmosphere, upgrade infrastructure such as power supply, road and water, as well as keep the youths off the streets.

She pointed out that in the recent released Nigeria Investment Climate Assessment, 83 percent of Nigerian entrepreneurs reported that the prevalent hindrance in the improvement of their business was lack of electricity, compared to 14 percent of Indonesia businesses and 28 percent of Kenya businesses.

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