At least four PhD holders in Ogun state applied for jobs under the newly launched public works programme meant for the recruitment of 774, 000 Nigerians. The federal government had in July kicked off the special public works programme which is coordinated by the ministry of labour and employment.
The scheme was part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s fiscal stimulus measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A total of 1,000 Nigerians from each of the 774 local government areas are to be engaged in the programme coordinated by constituted state committees.
The jobs, under the programme, are for unskilled labour and successful applicants are to earn N20, 000 monthly for three months.
According to its Labour Force Statistics report released on Monday, the number of unemployed Nigerians went from 20.93 in 2018 to 21.76 million in the second quarter of 2020.
This means more than 17 million Nigerians have become unemployed since December 2014, while the total working age population has grown by almost the same number in those six years.
In an interview with PUNCH, Gbenga Obadara, Ogun state chairman of special public works, said four PhD and 200 master’s degree holders are among applicants in the state.
“Four PhD and master’s degree holders have applied.Poverty is ravaging. Unemployment is extremely on the high rise. People with master’s degrees and even PhD degrees are applying for 20,000 jobs. That is the problem. It cannot cover everybody. We cannot blame the federal government,” he was quoted to have said.
According to him, the committee started distribution of forms four weeks ago and that almost 20,000 persons from 20 local government areas in the state had obtained the forms.
He also described the 20,000 slots allotted to the state as “a drop off in the ocean.”
Unemployment is one of the major issues under this government. In its labour force statistics released earlier in the month, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said 21.76 million Nigerians are unemployed.