The International Labour Organisation (ILO), Country Director to Nigeria Mr Denis Zulu, has urged the Federal Government to adopt the strategy of equipping youths with skills for self-reliance in order to stem the growing menace of youth unemployment.
Zulu, while speaking in Abuja noted that unemployment was a big challenge for Nigeria and many other African countries and that it was imperative to promote entrepreneurship development for the youths.
“But I think that a lot of attention is being paid by the current government in finding strategies and solution to the growing problem of unemployment.
“If you look at the figures provided by the National Bureau of Statistics, you will know that over the last three, four quarters unemployment have being growing.
“This is normally expected as you know Nigeria is currently in recession,” he said.
He said that this means that the government alone would not be able to provide the number of jobs required to deal with the unemployment problem in the country.
Zulu said the Federal Government must grow the private sector as a long term solution to solving the increasing unemployment in the country.
“We have a lot of skilled young Nigerians who do not have jobs and who should be engaged to contribute to the growth of the economy.
“So, we need to give them the skills to run the business of their own, hopefully when the business is grown they can employ their fellow Nigerians.
“So, it is about equipping them with the right entrepreneurship skills to be able to run businesses and not to be idle.
“Also, we need to move away from training our young people from looking for jobs, we must train them to create jobs.
He said that there was a need to encourage the youths to go into agriculture as it offers huge potentials for job creation.
The ILO country director said that the value addition in agriculture sector was imperative as it was an opportunity for job creation in the area of production of food crops.
Zulu advised the government to consider these opportunities following the recent ban on importation of fruit juice into the country.
He called on the government to explore the potentials that abounds in the country, such as the production of fruits juice from Benue state.
Zulu commended the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment partnership with the Job Creation Unit in the Vice President office on job creation initiatives.
He said that the number of initiatives being introduced by the Federal Government would go a long way to ensure that Nigerian youths were gainfully employed.
He said that government must ensure that integrated and comprehensive approaches were adopted for job creation
“That is getting the right skills, promoting the private sector and looking at the demand and supply side of employment creation.