Minister advocates youth engagement for peace, security
Minister of State for Transport, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, has identified youth engagement and empowerment as catalyst for peaceful and secure society. According to her, the Federal Government is making efforts to ensure that the injustices and inequalities within the nation are not only reduced but corrected.
Saraki, who made this observation in Okene Council, Kogi State, during the annual youth engagement organised by Ebira Information and Resource Centre, lamented that millions of graduates enter the labour market annually without any hope of getting jobs.
Represented by a rights activist, Mr. Abdul Karim, the minister said President Muhammadu Buhari had already set the ball rolling with his determination and focus on the three key issues of economic development, security and the fight against corruption to pave ways for a greater Nigeria where jobs would be created for all.
She urged members of Ebira Information and Resource Centre to deliberate out of the box on the best way to engage the youth meaningfully. Dr. Yakubu Suleiman of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, in a paper entitled ‘Taking New Direction to the Next Level: The Imperative of Privatisation and Empowerment Consolidation’, urged the Federal Government to be proactive in the completion of Ajaokuta Steel Company to generate job opportunities for the teeming unemployed youth in the country.
“As part of the avenue to tackle unemployment in Kogi State and the country at large, aside the Ajaokuta steel plant resuscitation, the Federal Government should also have the political will to dredge the River Niger to generate revenue for the country and boost the business activities of Kogi and neighbouring states.
“If these two sectors are considered for repositioning, poverty that is biting harder everyday will be removed and the living standard of the people will improve,” he said.Convener of the annual youth engagement, Abdul Karim, said the centre was created in 2005 to assist the youth in gaining job opportunities. He added that so far over 50 graduates had been assisted by the centre to secure jobs in civil service and private organisations across the country.