The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has said all youths in the country are not entitled to the N5, 000 monthly stipend promised by the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government.
The minister also said the Federal Government intends to convert most of the unemployed graduates to teachers in a bid to tackle graduate unemployment.
Ngige explained that contrary to the widely-held belief that the N5,000 was meant for all youths, only the vulnerable ones amongst them would benefit.
Ngige spoke at an event held to mark the 5th anniversary of Bina Foundation and graduation ceremony of its students in Enugu.
The Ministry of Labour and Employment donated equipment worth N10m to the graduands.
Commending the Foundation for uplifting the less privileged in the society, the minister went ahead to shed more light on the payment of the N5,000 monthly stipend, which is expected to commence in 2016.
He said, “The APC government anchored delivery on three pillars; security of lives and property, improving economy under which employment creation is the third sub-head, and infrastructure revival.
“You can see that employment creation is the main issue. We have heard people say we are waiting for N5, 000. We did not say we are paying N5,000 to all the youth. We are saying it is for the most vulnerable.”
Giving further insight to how the government intends to tackle unemployment, Ngige said that the Federal Government had budgeted N500bn for social safety needs in the coming year.
“Most unemployed graduates would be converted to teachers. The move is equally aimed at boosting the education sector,” he said.
Ngige noted that majority of the current crop of teachers in public schools were half-baked.
In the same vein, the minister, who said the era of white-collar jobs was gone, added that the government would pay serious attention to skill acquisition.
Ngige said, “For the social safety needs, we have budgeted N500bn for the next fiscal year.
“We have captured unemployed graduates. We are doing two things; we get those who read Law, Engineering and other disciplines but do not have jobs. We would train them for nine months and convert them to teachers.
“Most of our schools have half-baked teachers. We want to redefine our schools and make them what they are.
“We are also building skill acquisition centres. We have 12 of them across the country. The era of white-collar industry is gone.
“Nobody in Nigeria will be unemployed, people will learn how to use their hands.”
He also disclosed that the Federal Government would fight poverty in 2016, by giving aid to people with special needs while children will get their own through the school feeding programme.