There are worries that despite the federal government's commitment to job creation, inadequate budgetary allocation may hamper the effective delivery of job creation to unemployed youths in the country.
Checks by our reporter revealed that only the sum of N902, 800, 000 has been earmarked for enterprise creation in the 2017 budget for the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), the nation's apex job creation agency.
LEADERSHIP observed that poor release of fund has also hampered the job creation drive of the Directorate in the outgoing year.
It would be recalled that in the 20116 budget, a total sum of N1.8 billion capital allocation was appropriated to the Directorate, of which only 154 million has so far been released, leaving a balance of about N1.7 billion.
The President Muhammadu Buhari led administration has described job creation as a cardinal point of the APC led government. However, this has been affected by lack of fund.
The NDE has a key mandate to create job for unemployed youths in the country and act as a job centre. But over the years, it has been starved of fund, with government creating parallel job creation scheme like NAPEP, SURE-P, YOUwin and recently N-Power.
The creation of such parallel efforts, took funds and focus away from the agency, thus, making it unable for the Directorate to empower those trained.
Earlier this year, the NDE lunched the smart farmer scheme (NDE  REMIS) an ICT based platform capable of creation 490, 000 jobs in the next three years but hope the government can provide adequate fund for recruitment of agents who will drive the project.
Check by our reporter revealed that the NDE completed the frame work for online registration of unemployed persons in Nigerian since 2015, but due to poor funding, the portal couldn't be launched
The Directorate also carried out key intervention such as training of 1, 750 persons under the Enterprise and Finance counseling Clinic (NDE-efcc), 9, 027 person trained under the Community Based Training  Scheme.
Despite the poor release of fund, the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) has assured youths in the country of more job opportunities in 2017
According to the Acting Director General , Kunle Obayan, the Directorate is poised to create more jobs for Nigerian youths, focusing on agriculture which is in line with the President Buhari administration diversification drive.
Obayan however expressed optimism that the present administration is sensitive and focus to tackling youths unemployment, adding that government has programme in place, as well as social investment programmes with funds to take care of the poorest of the poor.
Speaking to journalist at the weekend, he said the NDE will continue with the vigorous implementation of its four core programme in the coming year in line with available resources.
He said at least 720, 000 unemployed youths will be engaged by the NDE in agriculture by keying into the CBN initiative of anchor borrowers scheme. So far, 77, 000 cooperatives are already registered under this initiate nationwide
He said, "As an immediate follow up to the launch of the NDE smart farmer scheme, 7, 770 young Nigeria graduates will be engaged for training to function as agents.
"11, 100 unemployed persons cutting across all ages and status will be trained in the rural areas in agribusiness skills in 2017. A total of 5, 500 direct jobs are expected from this initiative. Subject to availability of funds, 1, 850 persons will receive agribusiness starter packs from the NDE in 2017"

SOURCE: Leadership