About NDE

Brief on Directorate

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 80’s which led to a drastic reduction in capacity utilization and consequent outright closure of industries in Nigeria. Equally, other 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 1985 to 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 popularly referred to as the Chukwumah Committee. The Committee was charged with the task of proffering a sustainable interventionist solution to mitigate the rising levels of unemployment in Nigeria. The Committee established that the informal sector of the national economy had operators and employees who were mainly low skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled. They constitute about 90% of the workforce. This situation therefore, placed skills acquisition and training on the front burner of employment creation. Following the report of the Chukwumah Committee, the Federal Government established the NDE under decree No. 29 of 1989 which was replaced with ACT, CAP 250 of the Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.


To design and implement job creation programmes that will promote attitudinal change, employment generation, reduce poverty and enhance wealth generation.


Jobs for All

Statutory Mandate

Under the above-mentioned act, the Directorate is empowered to operate as an employment creation agency statutorily charged 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 may 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 States of the federation. To fulfill her statutory mandate, the NDE introduced four (4) major areas of intervention for mass job creation for the unemployed as follows: –

  • Vocational Skills Development
  • Entrepreneurship Development
  • Agricultural Skills Training and
  • Public Works Programme

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

The various employment creation programmes of the NDE are designed to provide training in critical skills required to make an unemployed person either employable or self-employed. Emphasis is placed on self-employment as against paid employment as a stimulus to engender entrepreneurial spirit and create wealth. To support this concept, the Directorate provides demonstrative soft loans to outstanding beneficiaries of her various programmes.

In furtherance to strengthening the mass job generation efforts of the NDE, the AHMED JODA COMMITTEE of 1999, primarily constituted to streamline the activities of the various Poverty Alleviation Agencies in the country, narrowed NDE’s core activities to focus on training for job generation, while funding support to graduates of her training programmes for supervised business start-up were limited to a few symbolic assistances to test or showcase the efficacy of NDE training activities.

Great to meet you

Mallam Abubakar Fikpo
Ag.Director General

Ag.DG’s Message

The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) is the lead Federal Government agency charged with creating decent employment opportunities for the nation’s teeming unemployed persons. Our statutory mandate stipulates inter-alia, to design and implement programmes that will combat mass unemployment. It further empowers the Directorate to articulate policies aimed at developing work programmes with labour intensive potentials as well as 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.

The institutional support of our collaborating agencies, public and private provided the impetus to implement job creation activities towards empowering unemployed youths in various skills for self – employment. Some of the institutional collaborating agencies include but not limited to the following:

  • Ministry of Budget and National Planning (MBNP),
  • Federal Ministry of Finance (YESSO Unit),
  • National Bureau of Statistics (NBS),
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Office,
  • UNDP/ILO and many NGOs, FBOs etc.

Members of the National Assembly in particular collaborate with the NDE to take various community development programmes/projects to their respective communities and constituencies.

I wish to acknowledge the efforts of the Federal Government in its desire to fight unemployment especially through the following initiatives: Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers Programme, Nigeria Social Investment Fund, Youth Employment and Social Support Operations via skills for job which is executed through the NDE, Public Workfare, Targeted Cash Transfer and Social Safety Net, massive investments in agriculture, infrastructure, fight against corruption and insecurity, etc. Finally, I wish to acknowledge the efforts of my predecessors former Directors – General for providing the needed leadership thus far and other staffers of the Directorate for working harmoniously in achieving the mile stones.

It is our expectation that this website will provide the needed information to all employment stakeholders, organizations, interest groups, students, researchers and others that may want a documented efforts of the Federal Government of Nigeria in fighting unemployment and promoting wealth creation as part of achieving the vision of Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Mallam Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo

Structure of NDE

From inception, the NDE functions under a Board of Directors fully supported by a Chief Executive Officer and a Management Team. It has functional offices in all the States of the federation as well as the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. These offices serve as implementation channels for all programmes of the agency at the grassroots. Recently, a zonal structure was introduced to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of programme delivery across the country. Each of the six (6) geo-political zones in Nigeria has a zonal office headed by a Director who co-ordinates programme delivery and effective administration of the state formations within a zone.