The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) was established in November 1986. It began operations fully in January 1987. The birth of the directorate was predicated on the effects of the economic recession of the 80s which led to a drastic reduction in capital utilization and consequence outright closure of industry in Nigeria. Equally, others macro-economic policies of the government of the day such as structural adjustment programme (SAP),

devaluation of the naira, privatization and commercialization of the economy, etc,resulted to massive job losses in both the public and private sectors of the economy. According to the Annual Report of the NDE 2013, unemployment rate had risen from 4.3% in 1985to 7.0%at the beginning of 1987 because of the situation earlier stated

As a direct response to the rising trend of unemployment, the then military government headed by General Ibrahim B. Babangida, set up a committee headed by Mr, Stephen O. Chukwumah which was later to be popular known as the chukwumah committee. The committee was charge with the task of proffering a sustainable intervention solution to mitigate the rising levels of unemployment in Nigeria. The committee established that the informal sector of the national mainly low skilled, semi-skilled and or unskilled. This group also constitute about 90% of the workforce within the sector. This situation therefore, placed skills acquisition/training on the front burner in respect of employment creation. Following the report of the Chukwumah committee, the federal Government established the NDE under decree No. 29 of the 1989 which was replaced with ACT,CAP 250 of the law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.



Under the above mentioned act the directorate is empowered to operate as an employment as an employment creation agency statutorily charge with the responsibility to design and implement programmes to combat mass unemployment, with the following mandate:

  1. To design and implement programmes to combat mass unemployment
  2. To articulate policies aimed at developing work programmes with labour intensive potentials
  3. To obtain and maintain a data bank on employment and vacancies in the country with a view to acting as a clearing house to link job seekers with vacancies in collaboration with other government agencies and
  4. To implement other policies as many be laid down from time to time by the board established under section 3 of its enabling law.

The Directorate commenced operations in January 1987 with visible presence in all the state of the federation. In order to fulfil its statutory mandate,the NDE introduce four major area of intervention towards mass job creation for the unemployed in Nigeria as follows:

  1. Vocational Development
  2. Entrepreneurship development
  3. Agriculture Skills Training and
  4. Public Works Program

Since unemployment is dynamic in this forms and patterns, regular innovative strategies are required to tackle it effectively. To this end, any other innovation can be effectively situated within the frame work of any of the four major areas pf intervention.

All the various employment creation programmes of the NDE are design to provide training in critical skills required to make an employed person either employable or to become self-employed.

Emphasis is placed on selF employment as against paid employment in order to stimulate entrepreneurship and wealth creation. to support this concept, the Directorate provides demonstrative soft loans to outstanding beneficiaries of its various programmes.



From inception, the NDE functions under a broad of the directors filly supported by a Chief Executive Officer and a management team. Its functional offices in all the states of the federal as well as the federal capital territory (Abuja). These offices serve as implementation channels for all programmes of the agency at the grassroots level. Recently, a zonal structure was introduced to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of programme delivery across the country. Each of the 6 geo-political zones in Nigeria has a zonal office headed by a director who coordinates programmes delivery and effective administration of the state formations within a zone.



For nearly three decades now, the NDE, through the machinery of skills acquisition in vocational, agricultural,entrepreneurial and activities in the public works sector as well as collaborations with both local and international organizations and private individuals, has impacted a total of 3,625,930 Unemployed Nigerians. In 2013 alone, a total of 39,101 jobs were created through the various programmes the agency implemented.