THE Federal Ministry of Finance has so far deployed 25,186 graduates in Nigeria into internship programmes for skilled manpower, which has contributed immensely to the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country.
Director, Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS) in the Ministry, P. M. Papka, made this disclosure yesterday during the commencement of the three-day training on Orientation and Employability Skills for interns in the state at Suncity Hotels, Awka, Anambra State.
Papka, represented by Mrs. Funmilayo Farombi, said that out of the recorded number, 9,387 graduates have exited the scheme while over 1,000 have secured jobs or started their own businesses.
While noting that the purpose of setting up the GIS, which is for the beneficiaries to acquire employability skills have been achieved, the Director also disclosed that from the registration figures obtained on the GIS portal, 13,781 firms across the country have registered to participate in the scheme while 305,780 graduates have also registered.
She said the GIS started as one of the social safety net interventions of Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) but that despite the fact that the SURE-P funds had ceased to accrue to support the intervention since December 2014, government has confirmed its commitment to finding solutions to youth unemployment focusing on graduates.
She disclosed that to consolidate on the successes recorded so far and in line with the Federal Government’s resolve to diversify economic base of the country, the GIS has keyed into non-oil sectors with a view to developing capacity and skills required to complement the oil and gas sector of the economy.