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We won’t pay N5,000 for people to be indolent – Minister of Labour

Valentine Chinyem

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Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr. Chris Ngige has said idle youths would not benefit from the N5,000 stipend that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government promised to give the unemployed.

The N5,000 stipend which a been a talk of controversy in recent times, was one of the campaign promises of the APC in the 2015 Elections.

The minister said this while speaking at the secretariat of the APC in Abuja.

“We won’t pay N5,000 for people to be indolent. No country in the world would pay people to go home and sleep and collect cash,” he said.

“Some people would get N5,000; we will pay some N10,000, and even for people in teacher conversion scheme, we would get more than N10,000, N15,000 as stipend during training, and they are going to be employed by state governments and the federal government in different institutions.

“It is not a programme we shall run alone; the state governments are going to buy into it, they are going to synchronize with us, we are going to do it in synergy.

“So, we want to get back our youths, capture them, teach them to use their hands, and when they use their hands, they can earn money by employing themselves.

“If you get a bricklayer, or a painter today, you cannot pay less than N5,000 for a daily job. And if somebody is able to work 20 days in a month for N5,000, he already has N100,000.

“But, it’s a sad story today. That is why Togolese, Ghannians, and people from Benin Republic, Niger Republic, are the ones who do all these skilled job for us.

“Eighty percent of workers in that specialised category in construction sites all over Nigeria, be it in Abuja, in Lagos or in Onitsha, come from outside, and we don’t know that little drops of water form an ocean. The money or the naira they are paid is repatriated to their country and all of them will come at the end of the day to put pressure on naira in the foreign exchange market.”