The Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, on Monday, said that it was equipping and strengthening its technical skills acquisition centres to enhance job creation for Nigerians.
Simon Lalong, minister of labour stated this at a one-day workshop on strategic reportage on job creation/ employment generation media practitioners, in Abuja.
Lalong, who was represented by Joseph Akpan, the director of employment and wages, said the ministry would leverage its 28 skills acquisition and 40 trade test centres across the country to build capacity for quality manpower.
He noted that the mandate of the ministry was not primarily to create jobs for unemployed citizens, but rather it existed to aid the government in building manpower to ensure there is a conducive environment to boost job availability.
The employment opportunities, according to him, will witness a boost, if the road networks are in good shape if effective compensation schemes are in place and other contingencies.
Akpan also argued that the best option for job creation was self-employment or entrepreneurship because of the capacity for expansion.
He regretted the misconception about the ministry, saying more often than not, job seekers besiege the ministry looking for jobs but feign ignorance of the actual functions of the department.
Corroborating this position, Olajide Oshundun, the director of press and public relations, lamented that many Nigerians held the erroneous belief that the labour ministry was only cut out to settle industrial disputes, particularly strikes.
He said these insinuations or speculations necessitated the workshop to promote a better understanding of the workings of the ministry.
Giving further insight into the workings of the ministry, he said the skills development and certification department of the ministry was saddled with the responsibility of initiating and implementing skills development and certification policies of the Federal Government.
According to him, “The mandate equally revolves around overseeing and monitoring all activities of public and private skills and apprenticeship training providers.
He noted that it is also saddled with reducing widespread unemployment among primary, and secondary school leavers and other youths in the country through training in basic vocational and technical skills.
This also includes training and re-training of unemployed graduates and under-employed graduates for efficiency and self-reliance in the trade of their choice.
“More often than not we develop policies and guidelines for all vocational, apprenticeship and other skills training programme throughout the country, establish standards and network for partnership with all national and international organisations involved in skills development.