By Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA – Stakeholders have been urged to strengthen collaboration towards improving the capacity of youths as a way of tackling the problem of unemployment in Nigeria.
Mr. Austin Ikechukwu, the Chief Executive Officer, Better Me Advocacy, who gave the statement while speaking with Vanguard on the sidelines of a youth empowerment programme tagged “Smartstart101: The Power of Decisions” which held in Abuja, reiterated the need for the stakeholders to strengthen collaboration towards tackling the unemployment challenge in the country by building the capacity of the youths.
Ikechukwu said there must be deliberate actions on the part of government, institutions of higher learning, religious bodies and the private sector to address the countless problems associated with youth unemployment.
The Chief Executive Officer, Better Me Advocacy, contended that much would not be achieved when there are uncoordinated efforts by stakeholders to address the myriad of problems affecting Nigeria’s youth population.
“Unemployment and cultism among youths are two national issues and their impacts are crosscutting, they retard the development of our society as well as our people.
“As a result of this, efforts must be made to ensure there exists an effective system of collaboration between all stakeholders in order to raise the capacity of the youths; this is the only way to minimise the negative impact of these problems,” he stated
Ikechukwu also said that the stakeholders’ collaboration which he advocates should involve those concerned with value orientation and re-orientation, saying they need to be proactive towards tackling these issues.
He however lamented that about 70 per cent of Nigerian graduates were unemployable, adding that unless drastic measures were taken to increase the capacity of youths, the number would rise by 2020.
Ikechukwu, who authored several self-improvement books during a 17-year period in prison, however, urged youths not to wait for others to harness and refine their potentials but to embark on journeys of self-discovery as a starting point towards improving their own capacities.
According to him, this is necessary because the youths will have to handle affairs of the entire nation in the course of time.
“Nigerians are living in hopelessness; expectations are cut short and hopes are destroyed. It is like a syndrome because nobody wants to take responsibility.
“The youths should know that they cannot be stopped unless they stop themselves. I reiterate the greatest challenge that is facing us as a nation is the low capacity of the Nigerian youth. That is why most of those who eventually leave the higher institutions cannot fit in properly in the larger society. The youths are actually the reason why they are sidelined in the scheme of things,” he stated