//Godwin Ekosin, Kaduna, Northwest Nigeria//
Kaduna State is said to be producing about 30,000 graduates from various higher citadel of learning yearly into the labour market most of whom cannot be absolved into labour market, Director-General, Bureau for Public Reform, Kaduna state, Bashir Mohammed has disclosed.
The DG who stated this while speaking at a town hall meeting for Youth Employment and Empowerment Programme (YEEP), held in Kaduna on Tuesday said, it is obvious that the State government alone cannot employ these graduates, so there is a need to create alternative employment avenues for them.
He added that in order to ensure that the youth are gainfully employed, the State government through Ministry of Youths, Sports and Culture, organized the town hall meeting between all MDAs and youths in the State to harmonized technicalities for gaining employment into the few portfolios in the state.
Earliwr, the facilitator of the programme, Mr. Bonet Emmanuel said, the aim of organizing the town hall meeting was to ensure that “we facilitate a programme where government speaks to the young people on what they are doing around youth employment and empowerment programmes in the state.
Mr. Bonet Emmanuel who is the Executive Director of AID Foundation, disclosed that the Foundation has been working with young people for a number of years, particularly on this.
”We’re partnering with Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme, (NSRP), which is a DFID programme that works around peace and security.
”We do know once peace is a topic, young people are the focus and as such it has been proven that youth restiveness is caused by unemployment. This has been one of the major drivers of conflicts. So we’re working with young people in certain local governments across the State in partnership with the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.
“The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture has several departments and agencies that also have one youth programmes or the other. There are several other agencies that are doing one thing and the other for young people, and we felt that it is pertinent for these agencies to come and tell the young people how they are providing their services. This is a sort of providing accountability to the young people, this is why we’re here”.
Speaking in the same vein, the Programme Manager of AID Foundation, Tessy Maina, said the objective of the meeting is to create a platform where the government and the youth can interface on issues around youth employment and empowerment. “Research has shown that over a period of time there’s this blame game between the youth and government.
The youth accuse government for not providing employment and empowerment that’s why they’re engaged in violent conflicts. Government on the other hand say the youth are not skilled, and so every administrations that comes on board said they have lots of programmes to offer the youth.
“The youth who are supposed to be the beneficiaries are not receiving information, so what this platform does is bridge that gap. The government is saying this is what we’re doing; and the youth ask how they could access the programmes provided for them. How does government select beneficiaries for such programmes because findings have also shown that these programmes are politicized, man-know-man. So when government said its empowering 200 youth 80 per cent of them are those who know people in power. A situation that is not healthy for the state”, she said.