The Minister of Labour and Employment Senator Chris Ngige has promised that 50 per cent of the citizenry will be captured under the social security net within the life of this administration.
He said besides the 200,000 graduates beginning work in December, more would be employed as part of a social intervention scheme.
Ngige, who spoke at the World Social Security Summit in Panama City, Panama, said the government’s decision to employ 200,000 graduates, despite teething economic challenges, was an expression of its commitment to lift millions out of poverty.
According to him, “social intervention is one of the cardinal progammes of the administration. Our objective is to tackle youth unemployment and restiveness through job creation, notwithstanding the tough economic challenges we face.
“Some of the programmes in our integrated social protection scheme are being implemented as evidenced in the 200,000 graduates, who will commence work next month.
“More jobs are in the offing. Our target is to ensure that millions of Nigerians are lifted out of poverty line while at least 50 per cent of the population is captured in the social security net.”
The minister, who spoke on the topic: “Evolving Role of Social Security in a Changing World”, stressed that despite teething economic challenges, the Federal Government remain undeterred in pursuing its social security goals.
He added that priority will being given to health care delivery to rural dwellers was core.
He said government would support operations of the National Health Insurance Scheme and that of the National Pension Commission (PENCOM).
Ngige said the activities of the National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) were enhanced to make it more responsive to achieving social security goals.
On the sidelines of the summit, the minister sought assistance of China in developing and deepening Nigeria’s social protection programmes.
In a bilateral discussion with the Chinese Minister of Human Resources and Social Security, Mr. Yin Weimin, Ngige said Nigeria would tap into the Chinese model of Social Security Academy to institutionalise social security practices in the country.
China won the best Social Security Nation for 2016, having captured 100 million persons yearly into its social security, totalling a billion in the last decade.