Former Presidentf Olusegun Obasanjo has tasked the UN, International Labour Organisation and African governments to partner in the creation of jobs in Africa.
Obasanjo, speaking at a panel discussion on building sustainable societies on the sideline of the ongoing 100th Session of the International Labour Conference, in Geneva, said the partnership would avert crisis of unemployment in Africa.
“I want to underline this as a situation that must signal red alert for us in Africa; I am worried, I am apprehensive about unemployment in our continent. It is not being taken as seriously as it should be.
I give the example of my own country Nigeria, we now have 120 universities. When I was growing up and I have to go to university, there was only one university.
“With polytechnics and other tertiary institution, we have more than 200. We have over 600, 000 graduates every year and we are not creating 100, 000 jobs for the graduates. The youths can be ignited anytime, and now we have about 165 million populations, we must be talking of jobs, jobs, jobs, and jobs, ‘’he said.
He said if unemployment situation in African countries was allowed to continue the consequences would be more severe than what is being witnessed in the Middle East.
He said if the situation was allowed to continue and given the awareness of the youth “none of us the leaders would a place to hide ‘’.
He said governments in Africa had not been good job creators hence they must provide a conducive environment for the private sector to thrive and create jobs.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent covering the conference reports that the meeting was organised by ‘Club de Madrid’ an independent non-profit organization composed of 80 Democratically-elected former presidents and prime ministers from 56 different countries.