Rivers focuses on job creation for youths to tackle crime
The Rivers State Commissioner for Youths Development, Alfred Tobin, has identified massive creation of jobs for youths as antidote to crime in the state.
Tobin decried use of security agents with guns to harass youths, pointing out that the use of force would not eradicate crime.
He said: “The best way to eradicate crime in any society is through job creation and not by the use of security agents with gun to harass youths”
He spoke in Port Harcourt when the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta signed an agreement with nine entrepreneurial organisations to train 1,000 youths in different skills.
The Commissioner insisted that creating job opportunities for youths would divert their attention towards fruitful and valuable ventures.
He added: “Employment opportunities shifts the energies of youths towards worthy ventures and bring growth and development to the society, so it is wise to create better job opportunities for them and not to use force.”
Also, the Executive Director of the Foundation, Dr. Dara Akala, said the training would help address the growing rate of youth unemployment and underdevelopment in the Niger Delta region.
He said about 1,000 young men and women in the region would be trained to be sustainably employed in the agricultural, information and communication technology sectors.
“The project which is funded by the Ford foundation is expected to train, support and equip the youths with relevant skills for work and job creation.
Over the next six months, the grantees will implement technical, business and employability skill trainings that demonstrate actual potential for job readiness,” he explained.
“This will include opportunities for internships and job placements through entrepreneurship for trainees in three pilots states of Abia, Akwa Ibom and Rivers State,” he said.
He also noted that the sub-grants have been made available in two intervention areas of ‘Bright Future Grant’ for ICT sector and the ‘jump Starting Aquaculture Enterprise for Youth in Agriculture’ saying there are so many untapped opportunities in the sectors that can rapidly turn around the narrative of the region.
Akala said the intervention would be extended to the building construction sector shortly, adding that the target group are unemployed youths of the three pilot states with primary focus on young male and female school leavers between ages 16 and 26 including young people in rural areas, women and persons living with disabilities.
According to him, the beneficiaries of the aquaculture enterprise grant would be equipped with technical skills and business know-how, linkages to start-up capital to build new aquaculture enterprises and create new jobs in the process.
He said youths that successfully complete the programme and perform satisfactory would be guided and supported to initiate their own businesses.
The Executive Director urged the grantees to promote equity in the selection of trainees, protect them from work place harassment and ensure that the right age group of young persons are selected with at least 40 percent women and people living with disabilities.