An entrepreneur, Uchechukwu Elugu, on Sunday told the Federal Government to adopt policies that would engender entrepreneurship to resolve the endemic unemployment in the country.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation is plagued by worsening unemployment; leaving majority of the younger segment of its population without jobs.
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, against the backdrop of what he described as the worrisome unemployment situation, Elugu said that government must introduce policies that would facilitate job creation.
The entrepreneur, who recently launched a publication, “Anambra Icons’’, expressed regrets that various job creation initiatives, introduced by the Federal Government in recent years had not curbed unemployment.
He described youth unemployment as central to the increasing crime wave in the country, advising government to come up with original ideas that would make the difference.
Elugu suggested that government should engage students while still in tertiary institutions to mentor them on choice of careers before their graduation.
“It makes a lot of sense to strike the iron while it is still hot, rather than waiting for youths to roam the streets in search of non-available jobs after leaving institutions of higher learning.
“It is clear that various job creation schemes introduced by various administrations are not meeting set goals.
“The way out is to think outside the box and engage students directly, rather than engaging them through third parties.’’
He said that engineering students should do up to two years industrial attachments with engineering companies before returning to classrooms to acquire certificates.
Elugu said further that government should engage majority of the youths in agriculture by securing farmlands and providing seedlings and other necessary materials for them.
According to him, empowerment should not be all about giving handouts or loans that can hardly be repaid because of the tough conditions attached to such credits.
He said that Local Government Councils should also be encouraged to introduce vocational training for people at the grassroots, to shape young Nigerians up for the challenges of making a living.
Analysts estimate that youth unemployment in Nigeria has increased to an all-time high of 25.20 per cent of the population in the third quarter of last year.
Nigeria’s population is currently estimated at about 180 million, majority of them young people, according to the UN Development Programme.