(L: Essien displays his State of Arkansas ambassadorial award)
A Kaduna-based young entrepreneur and Chief Executive Officer, Magvoile Vocational Centre and Magvoile Foundation, Amb Ernest Ubong Essien said, the issue of unemployment in Nigeria can be addressed using his United States of America youth empowerment intervention experience.
Ernest, who recently represented Nigeria in United States of America at a one-month empowering youth through workforce development programme, a regional project, said, the US government was interested in empowering African youths with entrepreneurial mindset to be a platform where others can be made self-reliant as a major means of tackling unemployment and insecurity in the region.
The young entrepreneur, who spoke with developmental journalists in Kaduna today, said, he, with support from his wife, Margret Essien, have empowered more than 2,000 youths in different vocational areas since the centre was established a few years ago which qualified him for the selection alongside 14 others from African countries.
According to him, “I was being selected by the US embassy and the US department of state to represent Nigeria on the workforce development of young people. I have learnt a lot. I have been inspired a lot. That experience open my eyes to look back home and saw what we need to do better to address youth unemployment in our country.
“That was what I saw in the US. To create jobs and to protect the youths. And how is this done, it is done by creating enabling working environment. Enabling working environment in this context, means running a statistics on the job needed in each state. That is, knowing the need of the people of the state and who can help to meet the identified needs.
“Let me quickly say this, Kaduna state has 23 local government. All the state government need to do is to know what each of the local government is good at, understand this and then get those that can make them do what they do better in unison in tandem with the objective of the state in meeting the identified needs of its people.
“I was amazed at how things are working in the US accordingly. Even for the young people doing summer school, there is a programme for them. They create what is called a skill workforce development for them. So, as they grow up, they are already having and developing ideology on how to key into skilled jobs.
“I have been trained by the Government of the United States of America. I thank US Ambassador to Nigeria W, Stuart Symington and Nigerian – US Embassy for giving me this great opportunity.
“I have observed that the US government is doing a lot to empower Nigerian youths. Now as an Ambassador, I work with the US embassy in the area of youth development not only in Kaduna, but across all states in Nigeria and, that is why I’m ready to work with Governor Nasir El-Rufai, ministry of youth and sport as well as the office of the Inspector Police to address our issues.
“Once we can make Nigerian youths understand that, there is dignity in labour, private labour for that matter, then, we will address the issue of unemployment and when that is done, many of our problems will naturally die-down,. This is our vision at Magvoile, ” he said.
Sent by Sola Ojo