By Josephine Agbonkhese
The Executive Director of Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center, WARDC, Mrs. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, has said 60 percent of the Nigerian population, made up largely of women and youths, is jobless.
Mrs Akiyode-Afolabi, who made the assertion while inaugurating a youth development centre, Odeda Youth Center, built by WARDC at the Odeda Local Government Secretariat, Abeokuta-Ogun State, attributed the situation to the inability of youths to create jobs.
She said: “Women and youths are facing multi-dimensional problems of the cultural inhibition, practice and belief which, in turn, affect their social, economic and political aspiration and participation in governance and leadership in Nigeria.
“Youths are excluded from decision making, key involvement in socio-economic activities, under-representation and lack of access to information on government programmes and policies, lack of socials amenities, and services.”
She added that the essence of WARDC’s Youth Accountability Parliament, YAP, in the state was to create a platform that would involve young men and women in governance ad leadership.
“YAP is to support youth organizations for policy change for the best practices all over the world; the project has created an effective young people movement working with paralegal in the community to lead change and progress.
“YAP comprises hundred youths from different constituencies in the community where it was established. Odeda Youth Center will serve as a platform for skill development training, capacity building and youth empowerment program,” she said.
Akiyode also said the country must tackle inequalities between men and women to make the most potential and sustainable development, thereby admonishing Nigerian youths to be self-innovative.