Abuja – President Goodluck Jonathan has challenged the Nigerian Economic Society (NES) to devise practical solutions that could strengthen the government’s drive to overcome poverty and unemployment in Nigeria.
Jonathan gave the charge in his remarks on Tuesday in Abuja during the opening ceremony of the 53rd NES Annual Conference.
Represented by Dr Nwanze Okidegbe, the Chief Economic Adviser to the President, Jonathan, urged the association to come up with the ideas for accelerating skill acquisition aimed at creating employment through entrepreneurship.
He said a coordinated approach toward tackling the twin problem of unemployment and poverty was inevitable if the average man on the street was to reap the full benefits.
He commended the NES for the important role it had played over the past 55 years in support of the country’s national development.
Jonathan, however, said the challenge was that the association should reinforce its role in the area of youth unemployment and poverty reduction.
The president urged the NES “to find ways of managing the mismatch between educational outcomes and skill demands. ’’
He assured that his administration was willing to partner with NES and other major stakeholders toward actualising the country’s potential and improving the standard of living of Nigerians.
He, therefore, called for the support of the stakeholders, noting: “all hands must be on deck to provide means to sustain better life for our teeming population. ’’
He stressed the need to fighting the menace of unemployment and poverty to a standstill.
Jonathan noted that the underlying themes of the 2012 budget, included growth and job creation by pursuing macroeconomic stability, structural reforms, governance and investing in priority sectors.
He said government was significantly scaling up investments in critical infrastructure, human capital development and food security.
The president also noted that priority attention was being giving to Information Communications Technology, solid minerals development, manufacturing, aviation and creative industries to develop the sectors that were known sources of job creation and growth.
He said agriculture alone was projected to generate about 3.5 million jobs between now and 2015.