Nigerian youths have been called upon to take advantage of opportunities that exist in the agricultural and technological sectors to engage themselves positively and be self-reliant.
The Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo who made the call at the unveiling of the State’s job portal, at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta, said many opportunities exist in technology, agriculture and its value chain, which should be explored by the youths.
Prof. Osinbajo, noted that the country was blessed with competent and creative young men and women, saying the Federal and State governments were working towards engaging more youths on useful ventures, as another 500,000 unemployed would be engaged in the N- Power programme to bring the number to one million.
“We are looking to see how we can do more empowerments and give more opportunities to our young men and women. We are doing business outsourcing to train young people who can do jobs here in Nigeria for different international Companies and even earn money locally”, the Vice President said.
He said the Federal government would set up an Enterprise Bank to give start up loans to youths to establish their businesses, just as out-sourcing training was being given to the youths to enable them provide services to different international companies and earning money locally, commending the State Government for conceiving such a laudable programme.
Speaking, the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun said with 23.1 percent unemployment rate or 20.93 million young people out of jobs, the country was sitting on a keg of gun powder, saying the objective of the portal was to have a data base of the teeming unemployed youths in the State, towards providing gainful employment for them.
Prince Abiodun said his administration was working towards restructuring the State’s economy for more opportunities and preparing the people to fit into all sectors of the economy, adding that the portal would register unemployed, skilled and unskilled youths on regular basis with a view to providing them with jobs, suitable for their academic and trade qualifications.
“Not all of us will do white collar jobs and not all of us will hold white collar jobs. White collar jobs alone do not increase GDP. This portal will therefore provide a platform for readily available and updated information on our graduates and those with vocational skills, with the aim of matching them with potential employers and employees”, he noted.
In his welcome address, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Youths and Employment Creation, Mr. Lekan Olude, said the portal was created to enable government have accurate data of graduates, skilled and unskilled unemployed youths in the State with a view of placing them appropriately, calling on companies operating in the State to take advantage of the programme to source for their workforce, as there will be quality applicants to choose from.
The Olu of Ilaro and Paramount ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, said the future of the youths was in their hands, admonishing them to key into the potentials that abound in the agricultural sector and not wait for white collar jobs which were not available.
Highlight of the event was the offer of automatic employment to 20 successful youths by the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun.