Lack Of Skills Hindering Youth Employment, Says Presidential Aide

Afolabi Imokhuede

President Muhammadu Buhari’s aide has identified the employability status of Nigerian youths to be one of the major factors hindering employment in the country.

Mr Afolabi Imokhuede, who is the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation and Youth Employment, stated this on Monday during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

“The majority of our challenge even with youth unemployment in Nigeria is also tied to the employability status of lots of our youths,” he said.

“Anytime we sit and engage, even as recent as two weeks ago at the Nigerian Economic Summit, the skills and competencies of our youths is always a major topic of conversation.”

Imokhuede, however, said President Muhammadu Buhari and his vice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, remained committed to fulfilling their campaign promises made to the youths in 2015.

But he insisted that “In as much as we have jobs constraint, the reality is that the competencies of our youths to fit into those jobs are also a consideration.”

On the Social Investment Programme, the presidential aide said, “One of the critical cardinals of that social investment is the job creation component targeted primarily at the youth between the ages of 18-35, which we’ve now come to know as the N-Power programme.”

“Now, that programme as ambitious as it sets out to equip at least about 500,000 of our unemployed youths with employable and enhancement skills and competencies over a two-year period.

“As we speak now, the first 200,000 are in their 11th month because they started December 2016 and they are volunteering their time in our public primary schools across all the 774 local governments in Nigeria, in our primary health centres and also in our agric-development programme,” he added.

Imokhuede hinted further that government plans to announce the second phase of the programme which targets 300,000 youths in November.

He said, “That is completely even different from what we do with the non-graduate programme because the N-Power programme is not only for graduates.”

“Even our non-graduates, those who have their SSCE certificates and above, are able to come into the skills competency programme both in vocational and technology and we are getting ready to roll out the vocational component in the next few weeks as well, in the very month of November,” he added.

Jonathan’s Aide Dismisses Expulsion From Bayelsa PDP

BayelsaA Presidential aide and an indigene of Bayelsa State, Dr Waripamowei Dudafa, has been reacting to his purported dismissal from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He says he remains a member of the party and cannot be removed through the backdoor.

According to Mr Dudafa, although, he and many other members of the Bayelsa State chapter of the PDP have shunned the unwarranted provocations allegedly sponsored by the Governor, Seriake Dickson, the purported expulsion was a shameful act.

The Presidential aide said in a statement on Thursday, that he would have ignored the alleged expulsion, but the action was the height of unwarranted provocations and sponsored acts of impunity against loyal party members.

He said in his statement that “it is no secret that Governor Dickson had brought the PDP to its lowest ebb in the history of democracy in Bayelsa State, due to bad governance, corruption, poor human relations, acts of impunity, injustice and nepotism”.

Mr Dudafa also noted that Governor Dickson’s plan was known to the people of the state and should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Bilateral Ties Between Nigeria And U.S. Still Intact – F.G.

The senior special assistant for public affairs to President Goodluck Jonathan; Doyin Okupe says the bilateral relations between the United States and Nigeria is still strong despite differences between the two countries over the recent pardon of former Bayelsa State governor, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, who had been convicted for money laundering.

The presidential aide was speaking after meeting with the political attaché to the United States embassy, Gregory Lawless, in Abuja.

He also used the occasion to assure Nigerians that recent developments indicate that the level of insecurity in the country is being brought under control.

Doctor Okupe also explained that the granting of amnesty to any group is an internal matter while assuring Nigerians that the activities of insurgents in Borno and Yobe states have decreased owing to the cooperation of citizens in these states.