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In response to the increasing rate of unemployment in Nigeria, the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) was established in 1986 by the Federal Government to serve as an unemployment reduction agency through the job creation programmes. The central problem which the study addressed was assessing the extent to which the NDE has impacted on job creation in Plateau State. The objectives of the study were to identify and examine the extent to which the NDE’s skills acquisition programmes, effectiveness of training centre facilities and the funding pattern of skills training programmes on job creation in Plateau State. Systems theory was adopted as theoretical framework for the study. The research design was survey design and data was generated from both primary and secondary sources with questionnaires, interviews and observations as the instruments for primary data generation and annual reports, articles and text books as instruments for generating secondary data. Also proportionate stratified random sampling and purposive sampling techniques were employed for the study. The study found that the NDE’s skills acquisition programmes have done minimal in reducing unemployment in the State due to the increasing number of graduates and school leavers produce by secondary and tertiary institutions every year and the low level of federal government commitments for the programmes. The study further recommended that the NDE’s skills acquisition programmes should be enhanced by the federal government through committing more resources, particularly, the human resources in the areas of artisanship that will reach every local government area in the State so that to enable the Directorate to tackle the challenge of increasing number of unemployed graduates and school leavers produce by the schools and tertiary institutions every year in the State.



1.1     Background to the Study

Unemployment is one of the greatest challenges to development whose manifestation and magnitude receives high attention by virtually all governments in the world by tackling its menace through the efforts of jobs creation. It is defined by International Labour Organization (1982) as it occurs when people are without jobs and they have actively sought work within the past five weeks (Salami, 2013). Economists from the earliest time have articulated theoretical paradigms that provide a framework for diagnosis and remedy in addressing the issue of unemployment, which has remained an engaging social issue among public policy experts and practitioners in government. For example, the classical school of economics led by Adam smith, who provided a wealth of knowledge on potency of the free market in optimum resource allocation to stimulate production, employment and socio-economic development. Much of its contribution to knowledge lies in its criticism of government regulation of economic activities. The school argues that government policies should give way to the natural liberty of economic production and trade, and that private property is a sanctified right as a consequence of human labour (Husaini,2004 ).

The Keynesian revolution of the 1930s, also commanded the explosive attack on economic Orthodoxy, apparently treated unemployment as a central issue of great concern and focus.  This was due to the failure of macro- economic system following the great depression of 1930s. The theory advocated for a reformed capitalism to accommodate government intervention in order to correct distortions in free enterprise, achieve optimum resource allocation and stimulate employment (schutz, 2004). John Maynard Keynes put forward his idea concerning with how the economy of the west could be reviewed through demand, employment and consumption. He asserts that;

  1. Total income is a function of total employment in a county
  2. The greater the national income, the greater volume of employment ,
  3. The volume of employment depends on effective demand,
  4. Effective demand consists of consumption and investment demand.
  5. Consumption demand depends on the propensity to consume.

Keynes is of the view that the age long classical economics was over and that the economy cannot be regulated by market forces, government intervention is therefore necessary to promote full employment by forcing down the rate of interest and stimulating investment (Keynes, 1936 cited in Ujo 2008, p.31). Both the Keynes and classical economists agreed that the appreciable decline in aggregate demand affect the level of investment which leads to unemployment, and eventually cause depression.

It should be noted that in countries, most especially developing ones like Nigeria, unemployment level serves as a measure for development as was rightly observed in Dudley Seers definition of development. Seers (1969) cited in Todaro and smith 2011, p.15) that;

The questions to ask about country’s development are therefore; what has been happening to poverty? What has been happening to unemployment? What has been happening to inequality? If all three of these have declined from high levels, then beyond doubt this has been a period of development for the country concerned, if one or two of these central problems have been growing worse, especially if all three have, it would be strange to call the result “development” even if per capita income doubled.

However, many countries whether advanced capitalist economies or developing countries, have experienced very high rates of unemployment since the great recession of December 2007, for example the American economy faced unemployment rate of 9.2%, Egypt had a rate of 19% and Saudi had a rate of 10% in June 2011.This problem is very costly economically and politically. Economically, unemployment represents a loss in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Politically, the world witnessed the Arab revolt in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Libya, Iraq and Bahrain, to mention but a few, a revolt that is caused by unemployment, poverty, inequality and dictatorship (Mouhammed, 2011). It should be noted also that the Newsweek (2011) reported that more than 200 million people globally were out of work, a record high as almost two-thirds of advanced economies and half of developing countries were experiencing a slowdown in employment growth (Salami,2013).

In Africa, World Bank Survey in 2011, showed that 40% of those who joined rebel movement said they were motivated by a lack of jobs, and 50% of those were involved in one form of criminality or the other, were also motivated by lack of jobs (Philip, Samson and Ogwu, 2013).  There were about 200 million people in Africa between 15 and 24 years of age, representing about 20% of the population and the continent is said to have the fastest growing and most youthful population in the world. Indeed, in Africa, unemployment has become a threat to socio economic peace and stability. For instance, unemployment rate in South Africa increased to 25.20% in the first quarter of 2013 from 24.90% in the fourth quarter of 2012, Kenya’s reached a high of 40% in December 2011, while Ghana had an unemployment rate of 11% in 2012. Nigeria, Africa’s populous country, has 25.3% in 2011, 31.4% in 2012 unemployment rate (Innocent, 2014).

Nigeria remains the most populous country in Africa and job creation for full employment of labour was recognized by policymakers as an important process of aligning economic growth with development needs of the country, the first National Development Plan (1962-68) had, as one of its cardinal objectives; the development of employment opportunities which would be accessible to all citizens of Nigeria, the second National Development Plan (1970-74) used industrialization as envisaged in the industrial policy to create more employment opportunities, the third and fourth National Development Plans (1975-80 and 1981-85) also have one of their objectives” the reduction in the level of unemployment” (Mbah and Agu, 2013).

The Nigerian constitution of 1999 recognizes the menace of unemployment, in chapter two under fundamental objectives and directive principles of state policy, whereby section 16 (2d) provided that;

the state shall within the context of the ideals and objectives, direct its policy towards ensuring that suitable and adequate shelter, suitable and adequate food, reasonable national minimum living wage, old age care and pensions, and unemployment, sick benefits and welfare of the disabled are provided for all citizens (CFRN,1999, pp.24-25 as amended).

Therefore, generation of productive and gainful employment with decent working conditions based on skills development to absorb the growing labour force has become a critical factor in the strategy for economic development in Nigeria (Amire and Chidi, 2015). Indeed, skills development has become a strategic necessity in building a system of adequate capacity towards ensuring equitable access to all, particularly the youth, disadvantaged groups, minorities, the poor, women, people with disabilities, dropouts, and those working in the unorganized sector, reducing mismatch between supply and demand of skills and diversifying skills development programmes to meet the changing requirements of the emerging knowledge economy by ensuring quality and relevance of training and building true market place competencies rather than mere qualifications.  

Over the years, various Governments in Nigeria have made efforts of putting several institutional programmes and policy measures to empower and create jobs in the country, for example, the Agricultural Development Projects (ADPs) and Nigerian Agricultural and Co-operative Bank Limited (NACB) in 1973 aimed at promoting integrated rural development by providing facilities for intensive extension services of modern inputs and granting of small and medium term loans, Operation Feed the Nation (OFN) in 1976 aimed at restoring dignity to farming by encouraging individuals, schools, colleges and university to grow crops for food among other objectives and Green Revolution (GR) in 1980 aimed at boosting the agriculture and promoting rural development through such measures as the encouragement of agro-industries, the construction of feeder roads and the provision of social amenities in the rural areas. Unfortunately, in 1985, the rate of unemployment rose  to  8.5% which  was  considered high .Thus, as a result  of  the  rising  rate of  unemployment  and its possible consequences, the federal government of  Nigeria set  up  a committee under the leadership  of  chukwuma in  1985  to design  strategies  to  create  mass employment  opportunities. Based on the recommendations  of  the committee, the National Directorate of Employment  was established  in November  1986 and its job creation programmes were launched  in January  1987,with the aim of   curbing  and reducing  the  rate of  unemployment in Nigeria and since its establishment the Directorate has been operating with the following objectives;

  1. To design and implement programmes to combat mass unemployment.
  2. To articulate policies aimed at developing work programmes with labour intensive potential.
  3. To obtain and maintain a data bank on employment and vacancies in the country, with a view to acting as a cleaning house to link job seekers with vacancies in collaboration with government agencies.
  4. To implement any other policy as may be laid down from time to time by the Board (NDE, 2009, p.4).

Policy was initiated in Plateau State, where the government in 2007 came with its 10 point agenda policy, where women and youth empowerment through capacity building for economic and social development was introduced amongst the agenda, this aimed at creating jobs to unemployed people in the state through collaboration with agencies such as the NDE. However, still, the average rate of unemployment is not reducing, for instance, the rate of unemployment in Plateau State as at 2007 stood as 6.8% while in 2008 declined to 4.7%, but for the subsequent years the rate was at the rising level, in 2009 the rate stood as 7.1%, while 2010 and 2011 stood as 10.4% and 25.3% respectively (NBS, 2012 in Anyio and Sunday, 2013).   

1.2     Statement of the Research Problem

One of the most fundamental problems of development in developing countries is that of unemployment, which is not a desirable phenomenon in any given country’s development priorities, because of its consequences both  social, political and economic that ranges from increasing  poverty, personal  hardships and depression which often results to criminality such as  armed robbery, militancy, kidnapping, prostitution, street begging, cybercrimes, proliferation of baby manufacturing industries and insurgency.

Since independence, unemployment and poverty have been two major challenges in Nigeria; where unemployment rate as at 1960 to 1969 stood at less than 2% and from 1970 to 1979 stood at less than 4%. However, within those periods, Governments of Nigeria have made several efforts in the form of self-employment programmes to fight and curb unemployment in the country, such programmes among were; the Agricultural Development Projects (ADPs) in 1973, Operation Feed the Nation (OFN) in 1976 and the Green Revolution (GR) in 1980. Despite efforts made by the governments of Nigeria, unemployment rate remained at the increase rate, where the rate stood at less than 7% from 1980 to 1989. It was due to the continued increase rate of unemployment in Nigeria that the federal government set up a committee under the leadership of Mr. Chukwuma in 1985. The committee was charged with the responsibility to design strategies that will create mass employment opportunities in the country. The committee identified among its findings from the survey, which the informal sector whose employees profile was characterized largely by low skilled, semi-skilled or unskilled labour, accounted for up to 90% of the workers distributed unevenly in agriculture and other self-employment ventures. The findings of the committee led to their recommendation to the Government for the establishment of an employment creation agency. Consequently, the federal Government approved the establishment of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) on 26th March, 1986 with its programmes ; Vocational Skills Development, Rural Employment Promotion, Small Scale Enterprises and Special Pubic Works Programmes which were launched nationwide in January, 1987 and currently the NDE’s enabling Act, CAP 250 of the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (formerly Decree No. 24 of 1989) gave the NDE legal backing as an employment agency statutorily charged with the responsibility to design and implement its programmes to combat mass unemployment (NDE, 2011, p.2).

In fact, unemployment situation in Nigeria has become a conundrum due to the shortage of jobs, not long ago, the Dangote Industries Limited, DIL, announced its intention to recruit just 100 drivers with ordinary national diploma certificates to drive its newly acquired state-of-the-art trucks. In the scheme tagged “Executive Trucks Drivers”, about 13,000 young Nigerians turned up for the interview, but that was not even surprising, considering the level of unemployment in the country. What shocked many Nigerians was the fact that of the 13,000 applicants, six were PhD holders, 704 master’s degree holders and over 8,460 bachelor degree holders (Obike, 2014).

In spite  the introduction of National Directorate of Employment in 1986 and the strategy underlying its programmes, which is to train and produce self-employed, the rate of unemployment continued to be at the increase, for instance, in 1990 the unemployment rate stood at less than 4.5%, 2000- 13.1%, 2001-13.6%, 2002-12.6%, 2003-14.8%, 2004-13.4%, 2005-11.9%, 2006-12.3%, 2007-12.7%, 2008-14.9%, 2009-19.7%, 2010-21.4%, 2011-23.9%, 2012-27.4%, 2013-24.7%, 2014-Q1-25.4%, Q2-25.2%, Q3-25.1%, Q4-24.3% and 2015-Q1-24.2%, Q2-26.5%, Q3-27.3%, Q4-29.2%  (Young and Ogbimi, 2014 and NBS, 2016). It is also applies to Plateau State, where the average rate of unemployment from 2007 to 2011 stood as: 6.8% in 2007, 4.7% in 2008, 7.1% in 2009, 10.4% in 2010 and 25.3% in 2011 (NBS, 2012 in Anyio and Sunday, 2013).In fact, it has been identified that the increased in rate of unemployment in Nigeria and Plateau in particular was as a result of inadequate youth development programmes, lack of essential employable skills, poor training systems and inadequate training materials and equipment (facilities) for the implementation of NDE’s training programmes( Adebisi and Oni, 2012 and Emeh, Nwanguma and Abaroh, 2012). And factors which include inadequate funding and late release of funds from the federation account among others have impaired the effectiveness of the NDE training programmes (Chinedum, 2006 in Emeh, Nwanguma and Abaroh, 2012). From the foregoing stated problems, one fundamental question that this study asks is “To what extent has National Directorate of Employment (NDE) impacted on job creation in Plateau state?” this is the central problem which the study seeks to investigate.

1.3      Research Questions

  1. To what extent has NDE’s skills acquisition programmes reduced unemployment in Plateau State?
  2. How effective was the NDE’s training centre facilities on job creation in Plateau State?
  3. How has been the funding pattern of NDE’s training programmes in reducing unemployment in Plateau State?

1.4     Aim and Objectives of the study

 (a)     Aim

The main aim of this study is to assess the impact of National Directorate of Employment (NDE) on job creation in Plateau State, for the period of seven years, that is, from 2008 to 2014.

(b)     Specific Objectives

The specific objectives were raised based on the research questions above. These are;

  1. To identify and discuss the NDE’s skills acquisition programmes in Plateau State.
  2. To examine the effectiveness of the NDE’s training centre facilities on job creation in Plateau State.
  3. To examine the funding pattern of NDE’s skills training programmes in reducing unemployment in Plateau State.

1.5     Hypotheses of the study

The hypotheses for the study are stated in null form and they include;

H0: There is no significant relationship between NDE’s skills acquisition programmes and the reduction of unemployment in Plateau State.        

H0: There is no significant relationship between NDE’s training centre facilities and job creation in Plateau State

H0: There is no significant relationship between funding pattern of NDE’s skills training programmes and the reduction of unemployment in Plateau State.

1.6     Significance of the Study

Conducting studies on the issue of unemployment or job creation and National Directorate of Employment is not a new academic exercise. Various studies have been carried out in relation to National Directorate of Employment (NDE) and job creation or unemployment reduction. Notably, among them are; assessment of the role of National Directorate of Employment (NDE) in reducing graduate unemployment in Kaduna State, by Oboromeni (2011); the study focused on the awareness, adequacy of skill acquisition programme, and funding of National Directorate of Employment (NDE) in Kaduna State , impact of the programmes of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) on graduate employment and unemployment in Kaduna State by Ogunlela (2012), the availability of vocational training facilities for NDE in Nigeria by Adebisi and Oni (2012), Promoting youth employment in Benue State, Nigeria: a study of open apprenticeship scheme of the NDE by Vambe and Suleiman (2014), the scientific evaluation of the performance of NDE by Young and Ogbimi (2014) and analysis of the influence of the skills Acquisition programmes of the National Directorate of Employment on job creation in Abia State, by Ukoha e tal (2014).

Therefore, the study focused on areas to include the skills acquisition programmes of the NDE, training centre facilities and the funding pattern of NDE’s skills training on job creation in Plateau state respectively. This is because the study is unique and significant as it centres on skills acquisition programmes, training centre facilities and the funding pattern of skills acquisition training of the National Directorate of Employment.

Students of tertiary institutions and universities who want to research further on related topics as well as officials of private organizations that have interests in studying job creation in society, would find this work very important because it will provide them with insights and the trends of unemployment.

On the whole, this work will serve as a great reference point for the government of Nigeria in general, and Plateau State government and concerned citizens in particular, in  examining the State of the policy implementation in reducing unemployment through job creation measures in Nigeria and the performance of National Directorate of Employment (NDE).

1.7     Scope and Limitations of the Study       

This research is on impact assessment of the National Directorate of Employment on job creation in Plateau State. The study  covers three Local Government Areas; each from a senatorial district and the three local government areas were selected to be rural, semi urban and urban local government areas, these are Kanam (Plateau central), Shendam (Plateau south) and Jos north (Plateau north). The study also focuses on the four programmes of National Directorate of Employment, the training centre facilities and the funding pattern of NDE’s skills training programmes; this is due to the importance of skills development on job creation for both graduates and school leavers and the provision of job opportunities.

The time frame of the study is for a period of seven years, that is, from 2007 to 2015. The period was chosen because, first and foremost, the administration of Governor Jonah David Jang came on board in 2007 with its Ten points Agenda, promised to curb some problems including; unemployment problem in the state by providing and supporting job opportunities process through partnership with agencies concern. Secondly many countries whether advanced capitalist economies or developing, have experienced very high rates of unemployment because of the economic recession in the previous years which started in December 2007 (Mohammed, 2011).

The limitations of this study were; the study was restricted to primary data and incomplete records of secondary data, starting only from 2010 and the inability of the study to get all beneficiaries of National Directorate of Employment from 2007 to 2015 local government by local government and for the whole state to administer questionnaire and the unavailability of funding pattern of NDE’s training programmes records from the State office of the Directorate.

1.8     Operational Definitions of Key Concepts

1.8.1   Unemployment

Unemployment is defined as the condition of having no job or being out of work; the proportion of people who are able to work and actively searching for one, but are unable to find it (Ra iq, et al, 2010 in Akinmulegun, 2014). Unemployment is defined as a situation when people are able to work and would willingly accept the prevailing wage paid to someone with skills but either cannot find or have not yet secure suitable employment ( Ekanem and Emanghe, 2014).

Operationally, unemployment is defined as lack of employment or joblessness, a situation whereby people are available, fit and willing to work but do not find work and where able bodied people, both males and females are ready and seeking for both wage and self-employments but they could not get any at their disposals. It also occurs when the numbers of workers are more than the jobs available at a particular period.

1.8.2   Training centre facilities

Training centre facilities is defined as the training equipment, techniques, devices, centres and services that are provided for a training purpose (Adebisi and Oni, 2012). Training centre facilities is defined as the available facilities used when undergoing physical and mental training (Ummunadi, 2010).

This can be operationally defined as the equipment, tools, machines and workshops that are used by the master trainers to train their trainees for a particular employable skill. These are the means through which trainees are provided with necessary knowledge, skills and experiences. These also comprises all the machines, equipment, tools, workshops and other essential services used by the NDE in training their beneficiaries for becoming self-employed.

1.8.3   Job creation

It is defined as governments’ policies and programmes that provide enabling environment for job seekers with jobs and employment opportunities (Idoko, 2013).

This can be operationally defined as the provision of new opportunities for paid employment and self-employment or self-reliant and it is the process of providing new jobs, especially for people who are unemployed and looking for employment. It also refers to government’s designed measures and policies to reduce unemployment or the process by which the number of jobs in an economy increases through various policies of engaging people that are not working or having no jobs at their hands in one employable and self- reliance  programme or scheme. 

1.8.4    Skills Acquisition Programmes

Skills acquisition is defined as a specific form of learning where skilled behaviours can become routinized and even automatic under some conditions (Speelman, 2005 in Masumeh, 2014). Skills acquisition programmes is operationally defined as the articulated NDE programmes for the pursuance of its underlying philosophy, which is self-enterprise that emphasizes self-employment in preference to wage employment that are attained through skills training. These programmes are the vocational skills development programme, the special public works programme, small scale enterprise and the agricultural employment programme.

1.8.5    National Directorate of Employment

This is defined as the federal government agency established with the aim of providing unemployed with necessary marketable skills through its skills acquisition or training programmes with a view to ensuring that they become self-employed. The agency emphasizes self-employment in preference to wage employment (Okoha et al, 2014). This is also defined as a training, finance and guidance-based programme of the government of Nigeria designed to reduce poverty and mass unemployment (Young and Ogbimi, 2014).

The concept is operationally defined as designing and implementing programmes to combat mass unemployment, articulating policies aimed at developing work programmes with labour intensive potential, obtaining and maintaining a data bank on employment and vacancies in Nigeria. 

1.8.6    Funding Pattern

Funding pattern is defined as the way in which money is provided for a particular purpose. Here, it has been operationally defined as the monthly stipends for trainees, allowances of master trainers and resettlements or take-off grants for beneficiaries after successful training.


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