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Federal Government Launches New Nationwide Scheme to Fight Unemployment

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In a bid to intensify its job creation efforts, the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Ministry of State for Labour and Employment has kickstarted a new empowerment programme that targets unskilled and unemployed persons across the country, stated Festus Keyamo, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment.

Starting in Delta state, the scheme will be managed by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), the go-to agency of the Federal Government concerning job creation.

According to a press statement made available to journalists in Abuja, the programmes will include skills training as well as empowerment in the vocational, agricultural, entrepreneurial and public works sectors.

The Minister of Labour also said that the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory will experience a mass increase in job creation due to the programme, adding that the landscape of unemployment in the country will undoubtedly be impacted positively by this new development.

He also said that the Federal Government, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari is not going to relent on its efforts to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty. According to the Minister, plans have been set up to execute the ESPW (Extend Special Public Works) within the 2022 budget year. This means that about 774,000 more unemployed people are set to be assisted.

Keyamo explained that in Delta alone, 684 Nigerians are already benefiting either from skills training or soft loan empowerment under the four core programmes of the NDE. He also said that some beneficiaries of the 774,000 jobs implemented by the Federal Government in 2019 have now become owners of micro-businesses due to the well-structured exit plans that have been implemented by the Federal Government through the Directorate of Employment.

He stated that some people criticised the programme, saying that the N60,000 being paid to beneficiaries was too small. Critics also argued that three months was too short a period of time to engage unemployed people. He, however, argued that apart from the immediate satisfaction provided by the stipends, the NDE provided several forms of business training and preparation in the form of exit plans from the programme.

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Minister Of Finance Debunks Rumour of Sacking Federal Government Workers

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Zainab Ahmed Finance Minister

The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, has debunked rumors of the Federal Government sacking its workers.

Zainab Ahmed affirmed this on ‘Good morning Nigeria’ a program held on NTA this morning.

According to the minister, the administration of President Buhari has no plans to sack federal workers, however, the government is willing to give incentives to federal workers who are ready to resign from their work.

She said, “Mr. President doesn’t want to disengage staff. That is what he has directed from the beginning of his administration. He also directed that we pay salaries. The Federal Government has never failed in paying salaries and he said we must always pay pensions.

“So, he has been consistent in those directives and we have followed those directives to the letter.”

In respect to the government’s plan to cut operational costs, the finance minister said the government planned to merge government agencies.

Ahmed said, “Well, we do hope that at the end of the exercise, some agencies will be merged and it will cut down operational costs.

“And also we will be able to come up with incentive packages to retrain people and redeploy them in some areas where they are useful. For example, we still have a very high need for teachers so we can retrain people and send them to teach but also incentive packages to exit. Again, that is also money. If you want people to exit you have to pay them.

“That is an incentive package so that they can go. That is why it is taking a lot of time because it is not easy to decide on this. Everything centers on resources. We need resources and if we had a lot of money, we would just give very beautiful incentive packages and people would exit and go and start their businesses and we would reduce the size of the personnel cost.”

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New Book, First Generation Empowers Fresh Graduates With Practical Guides on Career Mobility

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How does a son of a wine tapper with a university degree transition into the marketplace to start and grow a career? That is the question that Jonah Solomon seeks to answer in his new book, First Generation: A Fresh Graduate’s Perfect Guide to Starting a Career in Emerging Market.

With graduate unemployment in the Emerging Market averaging 7.97%, according to a recent MSCI report, and about three million Nigerian graduates without jobs, Jonah Solomon seeks to address this problem by empowering fresh graduates with practical guides to transition into the marketplace to start a career.

At the public presentation of the book in Lagos recently, the author, Solomon, said he leveraged his experience to start and grow his career in Africa’s largest city, Lagos to offer practical tips that most final year students, fresh graduates and those seeking to make real progress in their careers must never take for granted.

“This book is strictly about getting started on a strong footing as a fresh graduate who has now acquired a university degree or higher diploma and heading to the city to start a life with minted certificate.

“By the time you finish this book, you will be able to answer questions like what is next after your graduation, if you are still getting into school. If you are on the cusp of graduation, say you are in your penultimate or final year; you should have a fair idea of what you should be doing. If you have just graduated and looking to get started on a career, the practical lessons I outlined in this book can come in handy as a perfect guide,” said Jonah Solomon at the book’s official public presentation in Lagos.

Earlier in a remark, the Deputy Business Editor of Vanguard newspapers, Mr. Babajide Komolafe who was the chair of the occasion said the book was timely, as it comes at a time that graduate unemployment has reached a crisis proportion.

“I commend Jonah for taking the time to write this book. I am optimistic that young people who are leaving the university today will find it invaluable. A lot of fresh graduates are usually confused about where to start immediately after graduation and I think this book will offer that much-needed respite.”

Also speaking during a fireside chat, the Head, Operations and Experience, Jobberman, Francesca Alabede said the book highlights important ingredients for starting and growing a career in emerging markets.

She said: “I am happy that the book highlights the importance of soft skills in career mobility. This is because, apart from technical skills, fresh graduates must develop soft skills. Soft skills play a critical role in the workplace and most times determines whom employers hire.

“A recent study by Harvard University researchers found that 85% of job successes were because of well-developed soft skills, while 15% was as a result of technical skills. As a fresh graduate, apart from your technical skills, you need to develop your soft skills. These soft skills include how you interact with people, how you get your work done, how you conduct yourself, etc. Therefore, your technical skills are never enough and fresh graduates must pay attention to these.”

On her part, the book reviewer, Onna Okafor, said the book is a manual for not only fresh graduates but also anyone looking to make meaningful progress in their career.

“While this book is targeted at fresh graduates, I find it compelling for anyone looking to make progress in his/her career whether fresh graduates or practising professionals. The practical tips contained in this book are timeless and I commend the author for taking the time to give back to the society by writing this book.”

The book’s electronic and paperback versions are available for purchase on Amazon or amazon.co.uk for a discounted price. In Nigeria, the paperback and eBook are also available for download on Solomon’s websitePaystack Storefront and Selar.

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7 Out of 10 Workers Not Saving Enough For Retirement

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Around 70% of working age individuals who began seeking financial advice from deVere Group to date this year were not adequately saving for their retirement, it has been revealed.

Nigel Green, the chief executive and founder of deVere Group, one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations, with more than 80,000 clients and $12bn under advisement, says: “This is an alarmingly high percentage.

“Seven out of 10 of all the new clients we took on as a firm last year were not saving enough in order to be able to have a comparable lifestyle in retirement.

“When we initially meet with new clients, we do detailed studies of their current financial situation. Then we discuss what age they would like to retire and how much money they would need to have saved over their working lives in order to achieve this.

“This year, only about 30% were saving enough to be able to make their own long-term financial objectives a reality and having enough money to last throughout their retirement.”

He continues: “The high number of individuals not having accumulated enough for their retirement is concerning for many reasons including because we’re living longer, meaning the money we save throughout our working lives has to last longer.

“In addition, in the future, it’s unlikely that governments will be in a position to support older people like they have done for previous generations; plus many company pension schemes have ballooning deficits.

“Also, it should be remembered that it might not be possible to work longer if necessary due to ill health, lack of career opportunities, or because you need to look after sick or elderly relatives.  The decision might not be up to you in the end.”

Bearing this in mind, how much income should we be putting aside for our retirement?

That will depend on your age and when you started saving, amongst other factors.

However, in general terms, deVere Group, which has helped tens of thousands of savers get on track with their retirement planning, suggests that people aged between 25 and 34 should be saving between 15 and 20% of their income, for those between 35 and 44 this should increase to 20 to 30%, for the 45 to 54 bracket it goes to 30-40%, and those 55 and over would need to save a considerable amount more.  Of course, this all depends on the individual and their personal and professional circumstances.

Mr Green concludes: “Whatever stage you are at in your working lives, the time to start saving is now. The earlier you begin, the easier it will be to reach your long-term goals.  And it’s never too late to start saving for your retirement.”

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