Ngige clarifies N5,000 unemployment stipend
The Federal government said yesterday that it has no plan to pay N5000 to Unemployed Nigerians just to be indolent and unproductive, saying such payment will be made as allowances to those undergoing different skill acquisition programmes.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige who disclosed this in an interview with newsmen at the APC secretariat said no country can afford to pay stipend to her citizens to be indolent, adding that Nigeria will not be different.
The Minister however explained that while some people will be paid N5000 under the cash conversion scheme, some will also get N10000 while other may get more than N15,000 while in training.
He maintained that some people that will be given such stipend will go through different training and later get employed by either the state or federal government.
'We also have the programme on the commission cash transfer. Though even you the press has said it, we won't pay N5000 for people to be indolent. No country in the world, would pay people to go home and sleep and collect cash, so Nigerian would not be an exception.
'We will pay some people N5000, we will pay some N10,000, and even for people in teacher conversion scheme, we will pay more than N10,000, N15,000 as stipend while in training, and then after the training, they are going to be employed by state government and the federal government in different institution.
'It is not a programme we shall run alone, the state governments are going to buy into it, they are going to synchronize with us, we are going to do it in synergy'
He also disclosed that the present administration has mapped out some poverty alleviating and employment generating programs for Nigerians which will be carried out by the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Labour and Employment.
On the planned Skills Acquisition Scheme, Ngige said 'The Ministry has specialists skills acquisition centres; we have seven like that base in the ministry under the commissioner of skills or directorate for skills.
'The NDE have over 120 centres scattered all over the country, we also have those that have been built by state government and we want to capture all of these into that scheme and then get people to the scheme; to be bricklayers, to be POP designers, builders, welders, electronics repairer and the one they called Mecha-tronic, repair of vehicles, automobile carpentry, painting and fabrication of all sorts.
'We are going to do it, teach people, give them certification, because many people do not know that Ministry of Labour is the only place that can certified tradesmen. This skills acquisition centres are in grades, we have grade A certification, Grade B, Grade C, D and E Certification, they all still exist.
'So we want to get back our youths, capture them, teach them to use their hands, and when they used their hands, they can earn money by employing themselves. If you get a bricklayer, or a painter today, you cannot pay less than N5000 for a daily job.
'If somebody is able to work 20 days in a month for N5000, he already has N100,000. But, today it is a sad story that Togolese, Ghannians, people from Benin Republic, people from Niger Republic that do all these skilled job for us.
'80 percent of workers in that specialize category in construction site all over Nigeria, be it in Abuja, in Lagos or in Onitsha, they come from outside, and we don't know that little drops of water, form ocean, the money or the naira they are paid is repatriated to their country and all of them will come at the end of the day to put pressure on naira in the foreign exchange market.
'So we have decided that we have to train our own youths, let them use their hinds to fend for themselves. We will also want to advance some of them into entrepreneurship. If you are very good, we can open a place for you and give you money through the Bank of Industry and SMEDAN and then you move to the next stage where a number of youth will work with you.'