A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, said on Wednesday that he believes he is the largest private employer of labour in Nigeria.
Mr. Abubakar stated this in a series of tweets on his twitter handle, @atiku, while discussing the need to prioritise job creation in Nigeria.
“As an individual, I believe my record in employing young Nigerians is unrivalled by any single private investor in Nigeria #LetsTalkJobs,” the former vice president said.
Mr. Abubakar, who has investments in media, shipping, education, and other sectors, said he currently employs about 50,000 people in his companies in Nigeria.
“Since the mid-80s, my private investments have generated thousands of jobs for Nigeria – currently standing +50,000 jobs #LetsTalkJobs”
“This jobs conversation however should not be about me, but our youth – there’s a dire need to create more jobs #LetsTalkJobs
When I say #LetsTalkJobs
“I’m talking about the private sector. That’s the most sustainable way to create jobs,”
The former vice president asked young Nigerians to ask the country’s leaders what efforts were being made to create jobs.
“When I ask young people to ask their leaders their record/plans for jobs, I do not exclude myself #LetsTalkJobs,” Mr. Abubakar said.
He explained that as Vice President during the Olusegun Obasanjo administration (1999- 2007), he headed the economic team that spearheaded the job creation efforts of the government.
“As VP & head of the economic team, I believed FG needed to create policy to drive sustainable private sector job creation #LetsTalkJobs
“This private sector policy drove the GSM revolution (which I oversaw) – telecoms have created over 2 million jobs since 2002 #LetsTalkJobs
“The young people now working in MTN, Airtel, Glo, Etisalat & many other telecoms firms, are there because of those policies #LetsTalkJobs
“The expansion of Internet in Nigeria, & the young technology businesses now flourishing, is because of that telecoms policy #LetsTalkJobs,” he said.
He said his economic team also oversaw the banking reforms of the Obasanjo administration.
“I also oversaw the banking consolidation, giving us stronger banks, employing over 1000s of young people since the mid-2000s #LetsTalkJobs
“By stabilizing the economy, and fixing debt, the economy was able to attract investment to create private jobs #LetsTalkJobs
“Of course I believe we could have done better, but in my short time in active govt, we built a foundation for job creation #LetsTalkJobs,” he said.
Many Nigerians including President Goodluck Jonathan have identified job creation as one the most essential and urgent needs of Nigerians.
According to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria’s unemployment rose to 23.9 per cent in 2011 compared with 21.1 per cent in 2010.
In June 2013, the World Bank released a report, Nigeria Economic Report, stating that unemployment rate worsened from “12% of the working population in 2006 to 24% in 2011.”
“Preliminary indications are that this upward trend continued in 2012,” the World Bank stated.