Youth Empowerment Crucial To National Development – Abdulfatah Ahmed
The Kwara state government has called on youths to take advantage of all available windows for self-sustainability to empower themselves instead of engaging in endless search for white collar jobs.
Speaking through his Senior Special Assistant on Youth Empowerment, Alhaji Saka Babatunde, at a one-day sensitization workshop on empowerment held in Ilorin, the State Governor, Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed said: “his government believes that when youths are idle, they become susceptible to perpetuate crime and commit all sorts of atrocities”.
This, according to the governor, compelled the state government to intensify and widen the scope of its training programmes for its youths.
“Our intention is to empower youths to be self-reliant and enterprising”, the governor added.
He further explained that apart from several other programmes initiated for the youths, the Malete Youths Integrated Farm since its inception, had trained over 500 students who had in turn, contributed to manpower development in the state.
“We have acquired hectares of land for youths farming and also set aside substantial revolving loan scheme for the youths to access for various kind of farming ranging from poultry, fishing, animal husbandry among others”.
He also disclosed that the present administration had established the International Training and Entrepreneurship College (ITEC), Ajase-Ipo, to provide vocational training for the teeming youths, adding that “the state government just appointed a rector and other management staff of the institution to pave way for the commencement of academic activities in the college in the next few weeks”.
Rate Of Unemployment
Babatunde, who noted that there had been increase in the rate of unemployment across the federation, said youths should develop themselves in entrepreneurial skills that would make them employers of labour.
He opined that if youths can properly utilize all the avenues and opportunities open to them, achieving the united nation’s 2030 agenda for sustainable development would become achievable.
The governor also called on other youths who were still perpetuating crimes to desist from such and take advantage of the several training programmes and empowerment initiatives of his administration to be self-reliant.
Babatunde therefore, urged the general public not to shield criminally-minded youths who were fond of disrupting peaceful co-existence of Kwarans, saying that the government would not tolerate such and would decisively deal with such individuals.
He said the programme which was organized by the Kwara state government in collaboration with the Tony Elemelu Foundation, was aimed at empowering youths in terms of resources which he identified as the major problem in starting business.
Furthermore, he stressed the need for Nigerian higher institutions to tailor their curriculums in line with present reality.
The State Coordinator of Kwara Agro Mall and representative of Tony Elumelu Foundation, Mr Temitope Amoju, said one of the objectives of the programme was to sensitise youths on how to create their own businesses.
He advised the youth to stop blaming the present situation of the country on mismanagement of some past leaders, but rather make the best use of the present situation to empower themselves and boost the economy.