Minister, others seek synergy to tackle youth unemployment
Stakeholders, including Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, have urged synergy in addressing youth unemployment, especially among young people in the rural areas.
The appeal was made at the end of a two-day workshop organised by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan in partnership with the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Awka, Anambra State.
The IITA and NRCRI had conducted a study in Nigeria titled “Challenges and opportunities for rural youth employment in Sub-Saharan Africa: A mixed method study to inform policy and development programmes.”
Dare said given their huge population, the youth could not do it all alone, but would need the collaboration of national and international entities for engagement and development.
He pointed out that the Federal Government had created several windows to engage the youth in agriculture and other vocations through establishment of two centres in the north and south.
Represented by Assistant Director of Vocational Skills, Adamu Usman Kaina, the minister called on well-spirited individuals and corporate bodies to partner government for furher empowerment of the young people across the federation.
He said as much as his as his ministry was keen on creating opportunities, the youth should also have a mindset of creating value for their benefit.
According to him, the lessons learnt from the nationwide EndSARS protests showed that every young person believes that those in government see them as their major problem.
Dare pointed out 4600 youth had benefitted N500,000 each from the COVID-19 gesture of government, stressing that there were checks and balances for judicious deployment of the grants.
Shedding light on the research, the Gender and Social Scientist, IITA and IFAD-IDS Youth Research Project Lead/Representative (Nigeria), Dr. Bela Teeken, observed that the study, which carried out in collaboration with the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), UK, sampled four communities of Ida Amu/Igbokiti and Oba Oke, Osun State, as well as Umumbo and Igbariam in Anambra State.
Teeken said selected male and female youth were engaged in focus group discussions to understand current rural employment dynamics.
Highpoint of the programme was identification of the challenges facing the youth, consisting of lack of access to agricultural loan, poor transportation facilities, multiple taxation among others.