The Federal Government is collaborating with the Republic of Korea (South Korea) to address unemployment, especially among the youth and women in the country.
Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, said this while receiving the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea in Nigeria, Mr Kim Young-Chae on Tuesday, in Abuja.
Ngige said the era of white collar jobs was no more, that blue collar jobs were now being created, especially in the technical field and agriculture.
He urged the Republic of Korea to assist Nigeria in agriculture, which has enormous capacity to boost the foreign exchange base of the country.
Ngige said that the collaboration would explore opportunities in the agriculture sector and help in jobs creation and ease off the unemployment pressure in the country, especially among the youth and women.
He said that the development of agriculture sector through the collaboration would assist our country in developing foreign exchange base and reduce spending the nation’s limited resources in importing food.
Ngige stated that products made by Korean companies enjoyed high patronage in Nigeria, including phones, loud speakers and electronics.
He, therefore, appealed to the country to reciprocate Nigeria’s patronage by getting some of their raw materials from Nigeria to ensure a balance of trade between the two countries.
While commending Korea for establishing skills acquisition centre in Kogi, in the North Central geo-political zone, he urged that the gesture be spread to other geo political zones.
He called on the Republic of Korea to support Nigeria’s clean energy programme, to save resources wasted from burning oil and gas for the generation of electricity.
He also said the Labour Ministry appreciated the warm relationship existing between Nigeria and Korea, expressing the hope that it would continue to grow from strength to strength.
He recalled that the ministry had in the past intervened to resolve issues between Korean companies and their staff such as on the closure of the companies.
“We intervened because we know that they are employing Nigerians. We had to save jobs. So, we think that this relationship will continue to grow,” he said.
Ngige also commended the Republic of Korea for offering educational scholarship programmes and manpower trainings to Nigerians and appealed for increase in the number of beneficiaries.
Earlier, Amb. Kim Young-Chae expressed his intention to increase Trade and Investment of Republic of Korea in Nigeria.
He said his government offered scholarship programmes to Nigerians for Masters Degree and Ph.D Programmes as well as trainings for Nigerian government officials.
He also solicited for Nigeria’s support for the Foreign Minister of Republic of Korea in vying for the position of the Director General of International Labour Organisation (ILO).