How to check youth unemployment in Nigeria by Nwosu
President of the Ugwumba Leadership Centre for Africa and All Progressives Congress (APC), Uche Nwosu has urged the Federal Government to partner with private organizations and individuals to drive its women and youths’ empowerment policies and programmes.
He said such measures will eliminate observed sharp practices that have undermined the government’s efforts at tackling youths unemployment.
Nwosu who spoke at the grand finale of the 2021 Ugwumba Enterprise Challenge, advocated the need to incorporate vocational training in universities and other institutions of higher learning, to equip the youths with the necessary skills needed to be self-employed.
He said the Ugwumba Leadership Centre has been committed to identifying youths with business ideas and nurture and empower them with startup grants to establish or expand their existing businesses.
According to him, “President Muhammdu Buhari has done very well by opening a lot of small and medium scale enterprises,SMEs. The President brings out money and the money trickles down to the people in my village,in your village,and other villages. But the question we should ask ourselves is ‘does that money get to them?’
“When things come from government, it becomes nobody’s property. If it is government’s school,it becomes nobody’s school but if it is a private school,it is somebody’s school. So for me, government needs to partner more with individuals. it does not matter.”
He continued, what we need to do as private individuals is to give them the list of people we have interviewed and found out that the people interviewed actually need the money not where a government official will generate a list and at the end of the day,the money given to the people on the list comes back to the same person and they will say they have empowered. We need practical empowerment.”
Nwosu tasked the youths to showcase their talents to achieve success in life.
“They (youths) should be ready and showcase their talents to make it in life”,he charged.
Noting with regret that,” There are some who are not ready at all”,the entrepreneur said,”But those who are ready to work and make it in life,I want to thank them.”
“Moving forward, we want to see a country,a society where the young people who are talented would have one thing to do and will not depend solely on the government. Will not depend solely on parents but with what they have and what they have off head, where they can be able to create something for themselves with little help from well meaning Nigerians who have to support them “it might not necessarily be millions but something.
“People start business with N5,000. I have seen a woman who started business with N5,000, selling crayfish and vegetables. So,we want to see a country,see our society where unemployment will be reduced to its barest minimum level,” he said.
Noting that the country has moved beyond depending on government’s job offers, Nwosu charged young graduates to begin to embrace what he simply referred to “Address B.”
“The country has moved beyond the point of ‘ I’m a doctor,there is no job,let me sit at home and I’m a petroleum engineer and SEPLAT or SHELL has not employed me, let me sit and wait.
“You need to have address B. Your address A is your theoritical certificates and so your address B is the other one, that is the practical, what you can do as a barber,what you can do as a tailor,what you can do by using anything that is not anything in the society to create something in the society”.
Commending the efforts of the Centre at promoting security and social order in the society, the Director General of the Department of State Security (DSS), Yusuf Bichi, enjoined Nigerians to support efforts of government to empower the women and youths.
Bichi who was represented by DSS spokesperson, Mr. Peter Afunanya, said what the Ugwumba Leadership Centre is doing, is one of the ways individuals can assist the government to tackle security challenges.
In his words, “for us at the DSS, we do not do anything that will undermine the welfare of women and youths, so in this regard, we align ourself with the project of this Centre.
“If you resolve the problems f the youths for instance, or if you resolve the issues of discrimination against women, you would have resolved the issues of insecurity.
“Today we are aware that our country is facing security challenges and it is not peculiar to Nigeria, world over, countries are facing different dimensions of challenges. It is not just combating the security challenges, empowering the youths through Small Scale Enterprises, is the way to go.
“The DSS wishes to commend the Ugwumba Leadership Centre for all they are doing to empower our youths, for all they are doing to bring about peace, harmony and social order in their localities and Nigeria at large.
“So we will continue to support whatever that is legal, whatever that is lawful to achieve peace and security in our country and every person should please support that”.
Also applauding the Centre, former Imo governor and Senator representing Imo West, Senator Rochas Okorocha, enjoined the youths to take advantage of the initiative to achieve success in their chosen endeavor.
He further urged them to be passionate in whatever they are doing, adding that one can become successful doing what others may consider as menial.
The Senator commended the President of the Centre, Nwosu, for his large-heartedness in deploying his personal resources to empower women and youths.
He said, “many people will misunderstand what you’re doing as a show of affluence or political gimmick but if empowering the youths can be achieved through that way, let every wealthy Nigerian begin to do so. It does not take one having the whole money to do what you’re doing, it is just sacrifice, it doesn’t mean that you have nothing to do with your money but you’re driven by passion and love for humanity. I salute you for your large heart.
“And to the beneficiaries, I urge to be passionate about what you’re doing, that is the only way you can succeed. I have seen a shoe cobbler who became wealthy because he was passionate with what he was doing”.
Director-General of the Centre, Remy Chukwunyere, disclosed that the Centre had empowered over 5000 youths since its inception in 2018.
Explaining the Centre’s 2021 enterprise challenge, the DG, revealed that , “520 participants across the country were selected and admitted into booth camps, where they started pitching competition.
“At last ten finalists were selected and at the grand finale, the best three will get N1m each, while the rest will receive consolation prizes.
“Between 2018 to 2020, we have empowered about 5500, we also have a community of about ten thousand who are benefitting. The Centre has been doing this alone, if we begin to receive support for external sources we can expand what we’re doing. We are motivated from the amazing feedback we get from participants.”