From Okwe Obi, Abuja
An International Organization, ActionAid Nigeria, has decried the swelling unemployment rate which is affecting the youth, calling on both the Federal and State Governments to speedily implement youth policies in a bid to halt the menace.
Its Country Director, Ene Obi, expressed her pain yesterday at a roundtable to mark the 2021 International Youth Day with the theme,: ‘Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health.’
Obi explained that the implementation of various policies would empower youth-led social enterprises and entrepreneurs in improving the lives of vulnerable communities and building back better.
She stressed the importance for government to promote active youth involvement in agriculture to avert food crisis and civil unrest.
She said: “Government must provide Nigerian youths with equal opportunities to realize their dreams and ambition irrespective of their background in the interest of the nation, the way we see it being done in other countries.
“As the country evolve into the ‘new normal’, young leaders, social change agents and innovators will need all the support they can get to build back better and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Young people are indispensable in achieving a future that is sustainable and resilient.
“ActionAid is worried that if level of underemployed youth, out of school and work remains unchanged, national development will not be achieved.”
Meanwhile, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovations, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, represented by Agoro Olayiwola of the Bioresources Technology department, assured Nigerians of government’s determination to help the youth played their parts in national development.
Relatively, a development analyst, Eunice Emmanuel-Agada, said, “Public policies aimed at investing in youth and directed at addressing youth development and unemployment face a further challenge of lack of a proper monitoring and evaluation framework.
“Resources that have been allocated towards youth investments and development have left a lot to be desired in terms of assessing the impact on youth development and unemployment, especially considering the data from the National Bureau of Statistics.
“Policy formulation and its implementation appear to be mutually exclusive in the Nigeria context as efforts by successive governments to invest in youth and tackle youth unemployment have ended with little to show in terms of impact, largely due to poor implementation of the said programmes.”
On his part, National President, National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Solomon Adodo, implored Nigerians to end lamentations and take practical measures to over the challenges facing the nation.
Adodo hailed those Nigerians who are making changes across the globe and advised others to toe the path of development.