As a deliberate move to curb rising unemployment in Plateau State, Gov. Simon Lalong has charged the Plateau State employment council to generate 20,000 jobs before the end of 2022.

Lalong gave the charge in Government House, Rayfield, Jos, yesterday while inaugurating the state employment council.

The 25-member state employment council, which is chaired by the Secretary to the Government of Plateau State, Prof. Danladi Atu, is to liaise with the National Employment Council for any employment opportunity at the national level.

Lalong, who was represented by the deputy governor, Prof. Sonny Tyoden, mandated the council to mop up every employment opportunity available in the state, so as to close the rising rate of unemployment in the state.

Lalong said, “As you are all aware, unemployment is a major social and economic problem facing Nigeria and indeed Plateau, resulting in poverty, hunger and insecurity among others. This is why governments at the national and sub-national levels have made reduction of unemployment a major focus by adopting various measures, policies and programmes towards addressing the menace.

“Even though high unemployment rate in Plateau may have been impacted by this obvious movement of young people from other northern states to Plateau State in search of opportunities, nevertheless, the current rate of unemployment in the state is very concerning and therefore needs to be addressed urgently, considering the impact of high unemployment on crimes and criminality and general breach of the peace and security in the state.”

The 25- member council has the chairman, Plateau Youth Council as member.

In her remarks, the GIZ projects coordinator in Plateau State, Mrs. Hauwa Mankilik, who revealed that unemployment rate in Plateau State is 26.5 percent, said the GIZ entered talks with the office of SSG in the state with the aims of organising a policy dialogue, where all stakeholders will brainstorm on ways to generate jobs for the youths and reduce the challenge.