A total of 195,534 jobs were generated last year by the Federal Government via several contracts awarded by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, disclosed this to journalists at the end of the weekly FEC meeting Wednesday.
Maku, alongside the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Muhammed, attributed the source of the figure to the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu, who briefed council on the performance and challenges of his ministry in the preceding year.
“In 2012, the Federal Government generated 195,534 new jobs from the various contracts awarded by the FEC. It is the practice that ministers must say how many jobs they will create through contracts before they are approved by the council,” he said.
He stated that 212 cases of industrial disputes were referred to the Ministry of Labour and Productivity under its arbitration role. Twenty-five of these cases are going for arbitration while efforts aimed at resolving 114 cases were still ongoing.
According to him, Wogu proactively engaged with labour unions thereby averting many trade disputes that could have cost the government heavy economic losses.
Similarly, the ministry also embarked on skills acquisition in favour of workers and labour leaders to create skills needed for amicable resolution of conflicts, indicating, however, that inadequate funding militated against many of its efforts.
This is also the lot of the FCT which is indebted to contractors to the tune of N420 billion over an unspecified period of time.
According to Muhammad, lack of adequate funding continued to slow down the administration, necessitating its partnering the Ministry of Finance to work out ways of floating bonds after establishing a sound framework so that the debts could be paid.
He said: “We have challenges of finance but we have developed robust business plan. We are heavily indebted to the tune of N420 billion. That is why we are leveraging on Public Private Partnership (PPP). Eight districts will be developed through land swap.
“I have craved the indulgence of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and she has agreed, and the council has noted our recommendation to float an FCT development fund that we can float bond after we have established a sound legal framework with the establishment of FCT revenue board that we can task to float that bond so that we can pay our debt and do new projects and programmes.
“We are also planning to concession the airport and Kubwa roads. Our major goals is to provide efficient framework for the FCT and ensuring framework for waste management is our priority for this year.
“We are also maintaining a robust relationship with security agencies and neighbouring state governments on security.”