The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, has said that the Federal Government will capture at least
50 per cent of the population in the social security net.

A statement from the Deputy Director (Press) in the ministry, Mr Samuel Olowokere, in Abuja on Monday quoted Ngige as saying that the social
intervention scheme was one of
the cardinal programmes of the
administration to address unemployment.

The statement said the minister
announced the scheme while
presenting the country’s position
at the on-going World Social
Security Summit in Panama City,
Panama.

He said that the objective was to
tackle youth unemployment and
restiveness through job creation,
notwithstanding the tough
economic challenges facing the
country.

“Some of the programmes in our
integrated social protection
scheme are already being
implemented as evidenced in the
200,000 graduates who will
commence work by next month.

“ More of the jobs are in the
offing. Our target is to ensure
that millions of Nigerians are
lifted out of poverty line while at
least 50 per cent of the
population is captured in the
social security net.

“The decision of the Federal
Government to employ 200,000
graduates in the first phase, in
spite of the teething economic
challenges is quite a good one.

“It is an eloquent expression of
its dogged commitment to lift
millions of Nigerians out of
poverty,’’ he said and promised
that more jobs were coming.

Speaking on the theme “Evolving
Role of Social Security in a
Changing World,’’ Ngige said that
in spite of the challenges facing
the country, the federal
government would remain
committed in pursuing its social
security goals.

He added that the priority
attention being given to
healthcare delivery system to
the rural dwellers was core to
the agenda of the government.

He also said that the government
was poised to give more support
to the operations of the National
Health Insurance Scheme as
well as that of the National
Pension Commission (PENCOM).

The minister gave assurances
that the activities of the National
Social Insurance Trust Fund
(NSITFund) were being
enhanced to make it more
responsive to achieving social
security goals.

At a bilateral meeting with Mr
Yin Weimin, the Chinese Minister
of Human Resources and Social
Security, Ngige sought China’s
assistance in developing and
deepening Nigeria’s social
protection programmes.

He said that Nigeria would tap
into the Chinese model of social
security academy, adding that
the effort was to institutionalise
social security practices in the
country since China won the
award for the best social
security nation for 2016.

“This is because they were able
to capture 100 million persons
yearly into their social security,
totaling a billion in the last
decade,’’ he said.

The summit was organised by the
International Social Security
Association ( ISSA), a major
social partner of the
International Labour Organisation (ILO) and hosted by the government of Panama.

It brought together ministers
and representatives of
international organisations to
complement the commitment of
ISSA members to excellence in
the administration of social
security.

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