By Chinedu Adonu
ENUGU—PROJECT Director of Graduate Internship Scheme, GIS, of the Federal Government, Mr Dennis Chukwu has said that more than 41, 000 youths have been trained under the programme.
Speaking during the end of the training of 50 interns and firms representatives on Thursday in Enugu, Chukwu said that the purpose of setting up the programme had been achieved.
He said that the scheme aimed at bequeathing employable skills to unemployed graduates had transformed the lives of many who are currently employers of labour.
“So far, 41,161 graduates have benefitted from the scheme, while 35,000 have exited with thousands of them having secured jobs.
“Many have secured credit facilities as well as grants and many have set up cooperative associations which have transformed into small scale enterprises,” he said.
The director, who was represented by the GIS Senior Operations Officer in the Federal Ministry of Finance, Mr Joshua Ayandiran decried the unemployment rate in the country.
He commended the youths for their contributions towards achieving the change agenda of the Federal Government, adding that the ongoing transformation of the economy was a product of the resilience of the youths.
He, however, said: “As long as thousands of graduates still remain unemployed, we will continue to improve the capacity of the scheme to absorb more applicants.
“My hope is that the GIS will yet be another example that Nigeria will sell to the world as a way out of graduate unemployment.
“Some years down the line, I hope the GIS interns will galvanize different sectors, especially the non-oil sectors which are the new focus of the Nigerian economy,” Chukwu said.
In an interview, the Consultant and Managing Director of Daisygo Concepts Ltd., Dr Gideon Osi said that it was heartwarming that the Federal Ministry of Finance had put the empowerment programme together.
Osi said that it was impossible for the government to employ every Nigerian, adding that the lacuna in some of the youths were the requisite skills and entrepreneurial skills to make a living.
“This is a way of contributing to nation building. We are here to bring out the best in them by exposing the innate entrepreneurial spirit in each person and open up opportunities for them,” Osi said.
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