President Muhammadu Buhari has met with the officials of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and restated his commitment to the creation of more jobs for the youth in Nigeria.
While receiving Guy Ryder, the Director-General of ILO, and executive members of the organisation at the State House in Abuja on Thursday, 1 August 2019, the president said: “In the last four years, this government prioritised Agriculture, Housing and Infrastructure development.
“Our focus in these areas was to create jobs today and ensure peace and equitable prosperity for future generations.”
He added that it was simply impossible to continue to import food with the nation’s population.
“On agriculture, it was simple, a country with a population of close to 200 million has to be able to feed itself. We cannot rely on importing food,’’ he said.
President Buhari also told the ILO chief that his government had “attacked head-on the big deficit in power, roads, bridges, rails and housing in order to ensure adequate housing is available today and for many years to come”.
He attributed some of the achievements of his administration so far to consultations before taking critical decisions affecting the labour force.
“Our achievements to date were as a result of strategic fiscal and monetary policy decisions. In some instances, we partnered stakeholders such as the labour unions.
“A good example was during the African Continental Free Trade Agreement review and the National Minimum Wage negotiations.
“This consultative approach aligns with the vision of the ILO to keep communications open, create jobs, ensure social justice and eliminate worker exploitation,’’ he maintained.
Buhari used the opportunity to congratulate the international organisation on its hundredth anniversary.
Earlier, Ryder had told President Buhari that he was in Nigeria to attend the Global Youth Employment Forum where over 60 countries had gathered to practically address the most pressing challenge of finding decent jobs for young people.
He also expressed the commitment of the Organisation to the existing partnership and cooperation with Nigeria.
“We have worked with the Labour Ministry to prepare employment policies about youth employment, migration safety and health productivity.
“The focus is the practical implementation of these plans,” he said.