In April 2017, the federal government launched an online registration platform where it informed all unemployed persons to register their data and CV.
The federal government had said the portal was designed to capture the relevant details of any unemployed person, saying it will equally serve as a job exchange portal that will link job seekers and employers.
LEADERSHIP can however report that one year after its launch, the website, www.jobsforall, domiciled under the ministry of labour and employment has crashed or has been suspended.
A visit by our reporter to the portal, a 404 error sign was appearing on the site. It would be recalled that barely 48 hours, after the site was launched, it received over 21, 000 registrations.
At its launch, the initiative was hailed as a bold step toward deepening the effectiveness of the federal government’s employment creation strategies and a critical input into the process of designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating programmes and schemes.
The National Directorate of Employment (NDE), whose primary responsibility it was to maintain the portal had explained that the online portal would henceforth serve as a meeting point for job seekers and their prospective employers, adding that the initiative would go a long way to eliminate the cumbersome process of recruitment by employers of skilled labour in private and public sectors.
Over the years, the absence of accurate data has been blamed for government’s inability to create jobs and implement some developmental policies.
According to statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, out of a total active labour force of 85.08 million people in Nigeria, about 16 million people were unemployed in the third quarter of 2017.
Though, experts have always faulted the statistics of unemployed persons from the NBS, it was hoped that a proper data capturing of unemployed persons, like the one launched by the ministry of labour would have helped to give a clear direction in the quest to solve the unemployment problem.
According to Vincent Michael, the CEO of Africonsult, poor data affects Nigeria’s ability to make the right policy decisions, especially regarding to job creation.
He said, “Data, and especially data of good quality, are essential for national governments and institutions to accurately plan, fund and evaluate development activities. Basic development indicators are essential for an accurate picture of a country’s development status. This includes a country’s progress towards specific development goals and improving its citizens’ socio-economic conditions. In fact, solutions to social and economic problems are often inseparable from the statistics.”
He stressed that there is an urgent need for government to build institutions that can produce accurate, unbiased data. According to him, to do this government needs to prioritise the core attributes of data building blocks: accuracy, timeliness, relevance and availability.
He said, “To achieve this, government must build quality control mechanism, open data, accountability for improving data quality. The ministry of labour is very important in the job creation drive of the federal government. It is unfortunate that that portal went under. It is really sad that as a country we lack accurate data on unemployed persons
“In my opinion, a proper data collected on unemployed persons would have given the government proper insight into which sector of the economy it needs to create more jobs. For instance, how does the government know which sector of the economy to create these jobs it is talking about?”
A human resource person, Okoye Samuel said Nigeria must take steps to ensure that it gets its data accurately if it is to break away from the poverty index.
He said, “We cannot afford to continue with business as usual. Fortunately, a number of national statistical offices across Africa are taking steps to improve the serious challenges facing their systems. More work and more investment needs to happen. And at an accelerated pace. Nigeria must not be left in the dark ages of guess work. We must use IT technology to solve our problem and using such technology in data collection is very importan.
Also Speaking to LEADERSHIP, an IT expert, Ojo Kayode faulted the inability of the government to sustain a well-run online platform to ensure unemployed Nigerians are registered. According to him, in order developed climes, online registration of persons is the norm
He said for instance, in the UK you have to register as unemployed with Jobcentre Plus to benefit from available vacancies.
He said, “Jobcentre Plus is a government-funded employment agency and social security office that can be found in most cities, whose aim it is to help people of working age find employment in the UK.
“Employers and employment agencies can register their vacancies online by calling employer directly. These vacancies will be immediately listed through Jobpoints, Jobseeker Direct, and the Jobcentre Plus web. Those seeking to register for jobseekers allowance usually register online. Everything is data based. Once registered you will have to attend an interview with a Jobcentre Plus adviser, where they will discuss your support options with you.
“It is unfortunate that Nigeria cannot replicate this. It is sad, really sad. There is a lot to benefit from this.”
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