Gyang Bere, Jos
The Director-General of Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Sir Joseph Ari, has lamented that Nigeria has about 21.7 million unemployed youths in the country.
Ari disclosed this on Thursday during the Industrial Training Fund and Nigeria Employers Consultative Association ITF-NECA TSDP Stakeholders’ dialogue Forum and outstanding trainees awards ceremony, held at the ITF Headquarters Jos, Plateau state.
‘Data from the National Bureau of Statistics reveals Nigeria’s unemployment rate as at second quarter of 2020 is 27.1 indicating that about 21.7 million Nigerians remain unemployed. The worst hit are youths between the ages of 15 – 24, which have about 13.1 million Nigerians out of jobs and unemployed.
‘Putting in to context, the youth population is also about 64 per cent of the total unemployed Nigerians suggesting that the most agile working-class population in our country remains unemployed.’
He pleaded with Federal Government to support the agency in its drive for job creation, reduction of unemployment and poverty alleviation among indigents youths in the country.
‘We call on Government for support through policy and finding, the project’s scope and outcomes of job creation, reduction of unemployment and poverty alleviation would be up scaled and expanded for greater national Impact.’
He said the way out of the impending national and global crisis was quality technical and vocational Education and training (TVET) which is widely recognized for having an important role in tackling youth unemployment.
‘The challenge of unemployment, job creation and skills in order for jobs to become a reality for more people is likely to become accentuated as population increases and more youths leave school. A critical challenge that faces Nigeria is the development of a competent workforce and sustained economic growth in the global economy.’
Ari noted that the ongoing transformation in emerging and developed countries of the world was as a result of the deliberate policies and support for youths empowerment, technical and vocational skill and said if Nigerian Government must fast-track its development trajectory, concerted effort must be given to youth empowerment lay foundation for national development, economic diversification and growth.
The State Minister of Industry, trade and Investment, Hajiya Maryam Yalwaji Katagum, commended the Director-General of ITF and the Director-General, Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NACA) for providing technical skills to Nigerian youths.
‘The President Muhammadu Buhari Federal Government has encouraged it agencies to engage in public-private partnership to address challenges facing the country. The ITF-NECA TSDP, which was conceived to tackle the challenges of unemployment, underemployment and restivebess among the youths in Nigeria by providing them opportunity to acquire requisite skills.’
The Director-General of Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) said the award ceremony provides opportunity for for the project to celebrate outstanding trainees in the different trade areas from each of the centre across the 36 states and Abuja.
He explained that the objective of the programme was for stakeholders of the ITF-NECA technical skills development project to come together and profer solution to unemployment in the country.
Trainees for the 2019 ITF-NECA TSDP received award with business starter packs for outstanding performance during the course of their training a across the 36 states and Abuja.