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 capacity utilization and consequent outright closure of industries in Nigeria. Equally, other macro-economic policies of the government of the day such as the 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.

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 (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  or unskilled. This group also constituted about 90% of the workforce within the sector. This situation therefore, placed skills acquisition/training on the front burner in respect of employment creation.

The NDE’s enabling Act, CAP 250 of the Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (formerly Decree No. 34 of 1989) gave the NDE her legal backing as an employment agency statutorily charged with the responsibility to design and implement programmes to combat mass unemployment.

To further enhance and streamline the strategies of the NDE in mass job generation, a committee, the AHMED JODA COMMITTEE of 1999 streamlined the activities of the various Poverty Alleviation Agencies in the country. Thus NDE’s activities were streamlined and made to focus mainly on training for job generation with resettlement limited to only symbolic to test the efficacy of her training activities.

The law establishing the NDE presents its mandate as follows:

  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 any other policies as may be laid down from time to time by the Board established under sections of the enabling ACT.

The NDE therefore derives its routine functions from this mandate. The main goal therefore is to combat mass unemployment through skills acquisition, self-employment and labour-intensive work schemes.

In order to achieve our objectives, it has become pertinent to find more avenues to connect with out target audience – the unemployed. The aim of this blog is not only to sensitize the unemployed about the NDE’s programmes and schemes but to showcase successful beneficiaries of NDE schemes and their businesses; and to provide ‘Do-It-Yourself’ projects which our readers can do at home to earn some extra income. It is our hope that the success stories of our past beneficiaries will encourage our readers to register with the NDE in a bid to develop themselves.