The chairman of GUO Transport company and Board Chairman ANAMCO, GU Okeke, has called on government agencies and private companies to try as much as possible to engage at least 20-30 percent of NYSC members assigned to them.
Chief Okeke, who clocked 70 years on 6th June, this year said the call became necessary because of the alarming rate of unemployed youths, including erstwhile corps members who had served the country well but ended up unemployed by those they served.
He frowned at the level of youth involvement in kidnapping and other crimes warned against the rise in the unemployment in the country and called on both government and private sector to join hands in rescuing the country from the impending danger.
The transport mogul said it was worrisome that every year thousands of the Youth Corps members are released to both public and private organizations and used and treated as slaves despite their ability to fit into the system served a whole year.
‘‘Let me tell you about what we are doing with National Youth Service Corps members. We are now using them in our organization. …every year, high number of youths are released to different states, different companies, but they treat them as slaves.
‘‘They don’t pay them, the Federal government does, with the minimum wage, it will be worst, at the end of their service year, the companies don’t employ them. They just released them to the labour market empty handed. They should be equipped, in developed countries, they are given loan to get them equipped.
‘‘It is necessary we make them useful now that they are young before they turn into lions and devour us and our children. Let’s make them useful now. It necessary that government and all the private agencies should ensure they employ between 20-30 percent of NYSC members assigned to them, while they give loans to the remaining ones and use their certificate as collateral.
‘‘They seriously need to empower the youths in these country, because they are the taproot of all the atrocities happening in our country. There is need for them to be encouraged, some of us in the grassroots should be consulted for advice,’’ he cautioned.
Comparing the attitude of youths of today to that of his time, he said, ‘‘There is no comparison and you can’t blame the youths, because when we were young even in Secondary School, people were getting job. In the 60’s and 70’s, Secondary School leavers were not interested in trading, because, they had well-paid jobs in Banks, factories , just name it. They were comfortable.
‘‘What we enjoyed in those days is not what we are seeing today. We have murdered everything for the youths and they are finding it difficult to squeeze in. It is difficult and it not easy. I told you that before we got loans from the bank without mortgaging anything, but, since frauds have taken over, banks now request for mortgage, continuously banks will complain to you Mr B borrowed without return. Today, no bank is ready to give money to any youth.
‘‘If the politicians will listen, let them know that whatever they are doing, they leave for tomorrow. We are in sort of a relay race, you must hand over the baton. Let’s start with our children, some of us in position are not willing to hand over to the youths. That is why they become violence by the day. You hear of kidnapping, Boko Haram, that is why they run to other countries because they are not fitting in. There is no country you will go and not see a Nigerian there. Go to Congo, Ghana, name it, you will see a Nigerian there, let us rethink on how to rebuild our youths, let us think seriously on that,’’ Okeke said.