Businessman laments spate of unemployment, school dropouts
A Nigerian businessman, Babatunde Gbadamosi has raised the alarm over youth’s unemployment and school dropouts in the country. He noted that the trend pose serious danger to the polity, even more than any other challenges confronting the nation.
He however said that the issues had gone beyond what the governments alone could addres, calling for help from the private sector and rich Nigerians.
Speaking to newsmen at the graduation ceremony of Youth New Club (YNC) Skill Acquisition Programme, over the weekend no fewer than 1,000 youths were trained and empowered in different vocations, Gbadamosi said it was disheartening that Nigeria as the most populous nation and largest economy in Africa has a youth unemployment problem where nearly a quarter of the population is out of work and 20 percent is underemployed.
He cited a recent statistics, which showed that young people aged 15 to 35 are jobless, saying, “ the figures are grim: 55.4 percent of them are without work. Creating jobs is one of the key issues we must join hands to look solve. To me it is more critical than the clamour for restructuring and we are all feeling the negative effects.”
The businessman said it was imperative of Nigeria both government and the private sector to stand up to the challenge in order to prevent the apocalyptic situation that former President Olusegun Obasanjo warned us about
Obasanjo had warned “that if we continue to create a situation where the youths are unemployed, we will be creating a collapsing society.” Gbadamosi, who was the chairman of the graduation ceremony, said he decided to identify with YNC’s skill acquisition programme because he believed youth empowerment was the way to go.
He said apart from supporting the group with resources to train the beneficiaries in the different vocations, he would be providing the 10 best graduates with capital to start their businesses.
Speaking, Mr. Abraham Osho, President of YMC, said the club initiated the skill acquisition programme in 2016 to help create entrepreneurs. He said no fewer than 2000 youths, trained in vocations such as hairdressing, carpentry, fashion designing and others would be graduating at the ceremony.Some of the beneficiaries who spoke with The Guardian urged other wealthy Nigerians to invest in skill acquisition programmes for the benefits of the youths.
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