AbdulGafar Alabelewe, Kaduna
The 1993 Presidential Aspirant under the defunct National Republic Convention (NRC), Alhaji Lema Jibril, has said that the challenge of unemployment in Nigeria is deadlier than COVID-19, Boko Haram and banditry combined.
He said that, with Nigeria’s rising unemployment rate, the recent #EndSARS protest, which turned violent, would be a child’s play.
Alhaji Lema Jibril stated this in Kaduna on Thursday while chairing the opening ceremony of the maiden Kaduna Polytechnic Out-of-School Youths Skills Acquisition programme.
He lamented that the rate of unemployment in Nigeria is more than 60 per cent of the population; hence the country cannot but constantly deal with youth restiveness.
According to him, “unemployment rate in Nigeria is unfortunately over 60 per cent. This is more dangerous and deadlier than the Covid-19 pandemic, Boko Haram and banditry put together.
“Nigeria ought not to have any business with unemployment because we have the skills and natural resources. So, this skills acquisition for youths and out of school children is the way to go, if we fail to equip our youths with skills education, the recent #EndSARS protest will be a child’s play to restiveness that will be experienced in Nigeria.”
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He however commended the Kaduna Polytechnic for the initiative of training Out-of-School children, youths and asked the government at all levels, to take up the initiative.
Earlier, the Rector of Kaduna Polytechnic, Professor Idris Bugaje, said that the 70 out of school children drawn from the Polytechnic’s neighboring communities will be trained in different skills including carpentry, welding, and plumbing among others.
He said that the most viable solution to addressing school and unemployment in Nigeria is to give youths and the out of school children skills
Professor Bugaje however called for partnership from state government and other organizations with the Polytechnic to replicate the skills training across Northern states, expressing confidence that, such will address the menace of street begging.
He said the beneficiaries of the skills acquisition programme will be given starter packs at the end of the training.