President Muhammadu Buhari says his focus on job creation, consistency in policy and innovation stimulated a 5% growth of the economy in the second quarter, 2021, which is the highest in six years.
The president stated this at the State House Abuja on Tuesday during the inauguration of the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme, which he assured Nigerians would further consolidate on the success recorded.
Buhari listed some of the key drivers of economic growth and diversification in the second quarter of the year to include telecommunications, transportation, electricity, agriculture and manufacturing.
He said: “Tuesday, June 22, 2021, I set-up the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy (NPRGS) steering committee to coordinate our work to fulfil my promise to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in ten years.
“This is building on the positive results from the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan and the targeted response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic with the Economic Sustainability Plan.
“These efforts have yielded results with Nigeria recording its biggest economic growth in six years with a GDP growth of 5 per cent in the second quarter of 2021.
“The sectors that drove this growth are trade, telecommunications, transportation, electricity, agriculture and manufacturing.
“Each of these sectors showed significant improvement and thus created more jobs for our populace.
“An important part of our policies and strategies is the focus on employment and creating opportunities for our people.
“When this government was elected in 2015, we committed to increasing job opportunities for Nigerians and as part of our social investments programme we recruited 500,000 graduates into our N-power programme.’’
The president revealed that in 2019 he directed that the number of graduates be increased to one million.
He maintained that the graduates were recruited to work in agricultural, health and education institutions across the country.
According to him, the N-power programme also has a non-graduate component that provides skills to tens of thousands of Nigerians in areas such as technology, masonry, auto repairs, and carpentry.
“We estimate that about 2 million people join our labour force annually.
“We continue to work with our partners to provide more opportunities to create jobs and the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme in partnership with the United Nation’s Development Programme being one of such opportunities.
“The jubilee programme will provide a pathway for young Nigerians to gain work experience in top tier organisations, gaining relevant skills and building the right networks for the future in various sectors including information and communications technology, financial services, trade, manufacturing, agriculture and agro-processing.
“Other sectors include mining, telecommunications, creative industries and technology, education, health, research and development, and public sector institutions.
“We believe that building the right skills and experiences across these sectors are important to sustain the economic growth we are experiencing,’’ he added.
He said the programme would build on other efforts of the government to support young Nigerians such as the N75 billion youth fund in the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.