From Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Executive Director of Edulead Development Initiative, Chinedu Okpara, has identified green economy as a money-making venture which would reduce unemployment rate and youth restiveness, if government at all levels would invest in it.
Okpara, who stated this yesterday to mark the 2021 International World Youth Skills Day, in Abuja, urged young people to learn skills in solar panel production, inverter manufacturing and other agricultural tools to aid farming and harvesting of crops.
Aside imploring them to delve into waste recycling and management as another lucrative business, he disclosed plans to train young people on how to harness the potentialities in agriculture and green economy, and to assist them get start ups.
The event had representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Education, FCTA, ActionAid, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and Oxfam.
“If you look at the world we live in today, climate change is ravaging our society. And that is not only so because of nature; it has a lot to do with human activities.
“By way of ensuring that it is reduced to the barest minimum is to adapt to climate change and see how we can best mitigate effect of climate change.
“Everybody is crying that the world should go green and by going green it means that we should reduce carbon emission and other activities that are harmful to the environment and the agricultural sector so as to ensure that farmers farm sustainably.
“If we resolve that the world should go green by reducing emission, then it is very imperative that young people should begin to learn skills that are environmentally friendly.
“A lot of skills exist in the green economy starting from production. People are no longer using fuel and generator as before. People are now buying panels, solar energy and inverter in their homes.
“We are saying young people should key into these areas and begin to either maintain them or begin to produce them. In the agricultural sector, people want to see how they can farm every year round which is where irrigation comes in.
“People can begin to produce water harvesting gadgets and a whole lot of implements to help farmers farm without harming the environment. Recycling skills is also needed,” he said
He added: “We are marking the international world youth skill day as declared by the United Nations in which the skills of young people should be celebrated because it is the only sure part to get them to acquire skills in order to be resilient and be meaningfully be employed.
“What we are doing is to promote agriculture, environmental sustainability and education. We felt that there is a need for young people to be resilient in these sectors.
“By way of doing that, we are launching our skills clinic today. It is a way to see how we can help young people harvest skills within the green economy. What we are doing is to see those we selected for the first time are exposed to different skills within the green economy.
“They will be trained for a period of one month. After the training, we are hoping that they will be linked to places that they will access funds to continue what they have learnt.
“We are happy that we have a lot of partners joining us and showing interest in what we are doing. We are hopeful that at the end of this first phase of this project, the outcome of it will encourage more young people to be part of what we are doing.
“For each phase of the programme we will be training 20 persons within three months,” he said.
On his part, the Representative from the Federal Capital Territory Authority, Charles Ndukwe, said government would assist especially in the area of social mobilsation to reduce the rate of environmental abuse.