As part of the efforts to ensure more people exited the labour market, the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) and Abuja Leasing Company have set in motion to empower 200 lady drivers who are currently undergoing NDE professional driving training scheme.
The Managing Director of Abuja Leasing Company, Tunji Tolani, who revealed this while speaking during an on-the-spot inspection visit to the trainees in Abuja by the management of the NDE said that apart from the planned 200 green cabs for the trainees, 50 available cabs will be given to the first 50 while the others will benefit from the planned 200.
His words: “This is an initiative that is first in African and we are very excited about it. The NDE and Abuja Leasing Company will provide cars for these ladies to operate with upon the completion of their training. We have 50 cars on ground that we are going to be releasing to them immediately. We are also working with a financial institution that is going to provide 200 green cabs that are specifically designed for ladies. The nature of unemployment in the country, the Director-General of the NDE, Mallam Abubakar Mohammed, said informed the exploration of the areas that were hitherto gender-specifics.
He said: “The unemployment issues in Nigeria are very complex. This is because it changes in nature and volume. Therefore, the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) has to progressively adjust its strategies to suit the prevailing unemployment trend. “When we decided to look at the driving sector where men are holding sway, we realised that women could also be empowered to be a major force to be reckoned with. We are taking this initiative to introduce lady drivers gradually into professional driving profession. Because unemployed ladies are yet to see this profession as a veritable option, we are opening another frontier of introducing lady driving scheme for the purpose of fighting unemployment.” He further noted that beyond exploring employment opportunities, the role lady drivers would minimise accidents on the roads.
“Above opening another frontier where women can tap into employment opportunities, generally women are generally seen as more careful and thorough and if they are engaged as commercial drivers, they are likely to be more careful. Therefore, I see a situation whereby a lot of accidents that involve commercial drivers will come down. Apart from accidents, the Directorate also believes that nefarious activities such as using commercial cars for robbery, kidnapping, killing and duping of innocent passengers will come down,” he said.
The NDE helmsman reiterated the determination of the NDE to continually explore sector that could generate employment, saying, “in our desire to generate employment, the NDE shall not leave any sector unexplored in this regard. We are also looking at introducing a programme where men who are gifted in cooking can put their creativity into productive ventures. I am told the best cook globally is a man. The NDE will be too happy to Nigerian men competing amongst their peers from other regions of the world as the best cook. All the schemes we run are non-discriminatory.