By Naomi Uzor
Lagos-The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, weekend in Lagos said no fewer than 490,000 jobs will be created by the Federal Government through the recently launched Smart Farmers ICT platform.
The minister insisted that the government had resolved to fight unemployment and urged Nigerians to embrace positive attitudinal change towards jobs creation to turn around the fortunes of the
country and record significant success in employment generation.
Speaking at the 30th Lagos International Trade Fair, with the theme: “Positioning the Nigerian Economy for Diversification and Sustainable Growth”, Ngige recalled that a few weeks ago in Abuja, the ministry launched the Smart Farmers ICT platform creatively designed to promote and maximize productivity in the agricultural value chain.
According to him: “Prior to the discovery of oil in Nigeria, the bedrock of the economy was agriculture. At independence, agricultural accounted for 70 percent of GDP. 25 years after independence, we experienced an ugly reversal with food items accounting for over 50
per cent of imports. When we say agriculture holds the key to effective, functional and sustainable economic diversification, we are sure of our convictions.”
On his part, the Director General, National Directorate of Employment, NDE, Mr. Olakunle Obayan, who was represented by the Director Special Public Works, Engr. Monday Dalung, said the Federal Government was vigorously pursuing a sincere multi-faceted agenda meant to effect a shift from over dependence on oil and gas as a major revenue earner.