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Ayoola urges government to tackle unemployment




Former Chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Justice Emmanuel Ayoola, has warned that true rebirth and restoration may continue to elude the country unless it urgently tackles the challenge of youth unemployment.

Ayoola who gave the warning at the 10th anniversary of a non-governmental organisation, Grace Leadership Foundation, held at the Trenchard Hall of the University of Ibadan (UI) said the problem of youth unemployment ranks at par with insecurity and poverty, lamenting that for the country to attempt to pay lip service to this important challenge means its sitting on a keg of gun powder.

He listed the effects of youth unemployment to include economic under-development, loss of the benefit of abundant human resources and manpower, youth restiveness, proliferation of criminality and violence, pervasive frustration of the citizenry, anxiety and worry among both young and the old which all add up to a silently traumatized grossly under-performing citizenry.

He maintained that while recognition of the problems and the damaging effects of youth unemployment on the nation is useful, finding an urgent solution is imperative.

The former ICPC boss added that recourse to fanciful and superficially promising but non-durable initiatives may not proffer the type of solutions that are needed.

He said, “No one will doubt that for our country to enjoy real rebirth and restoration, the nation must commit itself uncompromisingly to a policy that will place youth employment at the forefront of its strategy of rebirth and restoration.

“To fashion a credible strategy, there is an urgent need to conduct a thorough and deep study of the cause or causes of youth unemployment. It may not be surprising in the course of such study to find that the causes of youth unemployment would include poor education system that, among others things attribute more value to certificate acquisition than knowledge and skill acquisition.”

Justice Ayoola stated further that putting youth employment on the priority list of government activities is paramount if the nation is to begin to climb the ladder of social and economic development and greatness, noting that true restoration and rebirth entail being open to fresh ideas and developing new strategies.

The guest lecturer at the event, Prof. Foluso Okunmadewa, while speaking on the topic, “Employing the unemployable in Nigeria: Evaluation of public actions and emerging lessons”, said the high rate of youth unemployment with increasing rate of entrants of skilled and unskilled youths into the labour market with low chances of getting sustainable jobs, calls for urgent reformative actions.

The Lead Specialist, Social Protection, World Bank, insisted that as the country pay attention to what he called demand side which is job creation, paying attention to supply side which is employability is equally more important.

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