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World Youth Day: Unemployment Challenge Facing Youths Will Be Resolved- Buhari

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[caption id="attachment_754" align="alignnone" width="612"]Nigeria President, Muhammadu Buhari[/caption]

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday said that his government has resolved to provide the necessary infrastructures that would create employments for youth in the country.

President Buhari revealed this while speaking at an event organized by the Ministry of Youth Development to mark 2015 World Youth Day.

According to him, unemployment was one of the major challenges facing Nigeria and the African continent as many graduates were yet to get jobs.

“Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, you may wish to note that Africa is the most ‘youthful’ continent in the world. According to the figures I have been presented with, at least 20 percent of the continent’s population of 1.2 billion is between the age bracket of 15 – 24 years, with about 42% below 15 years of age. As the rest of the world gets older, Africa is getting younger. This is neither a good thing nor a bad thing. It all depends on what we make of it.

“Therefore, one of the greatest challenges facing governments and policy makers in Africa today is how to provide opportunities and meet the needs of young people, the vast majority of whom need to be empowered to enable them to lead decent lives and contribute their quota to the socio economic and political development of their countries.

“Correctly harnessed, this tremendous labour force could propel us to take a quantum leap in developing our infrastructure so that Nigeria can join the 21st Century.” Buhari said.

The president who recalled 2011 African Leaders summit in Malabo, Equatorial Genuea also said that it was the responsibility of the government to create jobs.

“The summit adopted that all member States should advance the youth agenda and adopt policies and mechanisms towards the creation of safe, decent and competitive employment opportunities.

“This would be achieved by accelerating the implementation of the Youth Decade Plan of Action (2009 – 2018) and the Ouagadougou 2004 Plan of Action on Employment Promotion and Poverty Alleviation. African leaders have since stepped up efforts to give voice, visibility and platforms to the youth to advocate for more investments in their future.” The president said.

President Buhari said that it is an issue of serious concern that in Nigeria, so far, economic growth has not translated into commensurate and improved social outcomes, especially for our 60 million young people who made up the majority of the population adding that this leads youth migration in search of greener pastures.

According to him, his administration is poised to providing an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive so as to ensure greater opportunities for jobs to be created for our young people, as this will assist in reducing criminal activities and terrorism in the country.

“We have resolved to provide adequate infrastructure and strengthen our job creation institutions in order to increase opportunities for our young people. For Nigeria to sustainably create jobs and ensure growth, we will pay special attention to the growth of our Small and Medium Scale Enterprises. This can be achieved through boosting the intervention funds as guaranteed by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“In order to ensure that young people are healthy, skilled and educationally empowered, we will strengthen our academic and vocational training institutions as well as significantly improve our healthcare delivery system.

The president however assured that the new Administration will place high premium in tackling challenges facing the youth sector.

“Young Nigerians, we are very much committed to fulfilling all our campaign promises. We, therefore, seek your cooperation and patience in this regard. Be assured that “change” for us is not a mere political slogan but the beginning of a new era desired by the majority of Nigerians. The youth must therefore be vanguards of this change and at the same time be the change that they wish to see.

“In order to ensure that young people are healthy, skilled and educationally empowered, we will strengthen our academic and vocational training institutions as well as significantly improve our healthcare delivery system.

“Young Nigerians, we are very much committed to fulfilling all our campaign promises. We, therefore, seek your cooperation and patience in this regard. Be assured that “change” for us is not a mere political slogan but the beginning of a new era desired by the majority of Nigerians. The youth must therefore be vanguards of this change and at the same time be the change that they wish to see.

Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs. Rabi Jimeta, said that the initiative was aimed at giving the youth a direction in life, stressing that the uniqueness of this year’s celebration was the readiness of the president administration to evolve lofty programmes aimed at creating employments for the youth.

Similarly, the Director-General of National Youth Service Corps, Brig.-Gen. Johnson Olawumi, in his goodwill message said that the scheme was on that has gathered the youth of Nigeria under one umbrella.

He noted the contribution of the youth in previous elections in Nigeria, saying they have added to the credibility of the polls.

The World Youth Day came into being at the instance of United Nations Resolution 54/120 of December 19, 1999. It is observed August 12 of every year. This year’s theme is “Civic Engagement”.