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.