By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
An international non-profit making, governmental, non-partisan, non-religious, and civil society organization, ActionAid Nigeria, AAN, weekend, called on Federal and State Governments to provide USSD codes for youths to access job opportunities and other relevant programmes that would transform their lives and grow the economy.
This was stated by the Manager, Social Mobilisation, AAN, Adewale Adeduntan, while speaking on the essence of the 2021 World Youth Skills Day, with the theme, ‘with the theme, ‘Reimagining Youth Skills Post-Pandemic’, where Adeduntan pointed that where there is unemployment and uprising, prosperity cannot stay, and also if the government and the private sector can look inwards, the problem of waste could be transformed into wealth, which could massively employ a large chunk of the teeming population of young people in the country.
He also stressed the need for Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, religious and traditional organisations, institutions of learning, families, communities, associations, and individuals to partner and collaborate in order to reconscientise and rejuvenate the minds of young people in the positive direction that would help them have a sense of belonging and also become self-reliant and regain self-esteem, reduce depression, suicide, and social vices that jeopardize their future.
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He said: “It is important we reconscientise young people to known because their ways are different especially in this century. Young people of the 20 th century are apparently different from the crop of young people day. Their challenges are peculiar and different.
“We are using today to commemorate the World Youth Skills Day and we look at the fact that unemployment is biting so hard in our societies the truth of the matter is how we can began imagine how they can be creatively engaged especially in the green economy; how do we provide green jobs that would help young people to able be able to make money and put in their pocket?
“Wherever we have unemployment and uprising prosperity cannot stay, and also if we look at the myriad of environmental challenges we have as a country it is realized that we can convert our waste to wealth, and we will be able to make this young people to drift away from the mentality of looking and waiting for white-collar jobs that are no longer there.
“So we have a lot of them who have keyed into the green economy making thousands of Naira daily and they are not bothering about jobs that are no longer there.
“The essence of today’s commemoration World Youth Skills Day is to see how we can open the eyed of the young people to know what they will be able to do. The passion alone is not enough. We have to create policy environment and institutions that will be able to support these young people.
“When government still put all the information young people need in the analogue platform they would not be able to access it and that is why it appears as if young people are not serious, they are, is just that we are not on the platform where they are operating, we have to also take this opportunities to those areas where this young people live, sleep and do everything that is on the social media.
“Probably a USSD code young people should be able to dial and get information about solutions to their issues at the push of the button but if you say they should go to one Ministry, they would not go and they do not know where this Ministry is.
“Let us see how we can get creative, and that is for the policy makers. Let us put the information where appropriate and useful, government is also trying, but let us put the opportunities in their domain, and this will solve unemployment, create economic growth, Gross Domestic Product, GDP, will rise, create employment indirectly, and as a matter of fact we are also going to have cleaner, safer and greener environment.”
He also pointed out that with young people making half of Nigeria’s population, there need for them to have relevant information from the government at their domain and also be encouraged to access them.
“We have over 50 per cent of our population as young people and they are all unemployed, what we need to do is to put this information in their domain, and get them encouraged, putting the information will not be sufficient; tell them that if you can collect 100 kilogramme of sack of waste plastics and take it to a recycling centre and you will be paid a wage, and they will do it, and this will lead to cleaner environment, and some of these waste contain some quantity of water, which contain malaria parasite, hence the challenge of malaria is reduced because such containers are picked and recycled”, he said.
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