Unemployment: Aregbesola Wants Graduates To Embrace Agriculture

AgricultureThe Governor of Osun State, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, wants university graduates in Nigeria to shift attention from white collar jobs and embrace agriculture.

He believes agriculture is a good means of stemming the tide of unemployment.

The Governor stated that the present economic situation had shown Nigerians the need to encourage farming as the only alternative to crude oil.

Aregbesola made the demand while addressing a gathering at the 6th convocation ceremony of Fountain University in Osogbo, the capital of Osun State.

He noted that there was no aspect of life that could do without agriculture, saying Nigerian graduates must henceforth stop searching for formal jobs that seem to be no longer in existence.

Food Production Capacity

The Governor stressed the need for productivity, resilience and hard-work among Nigerians, pointing out that the present nation’s economy demands one to be self-employed.

Argebesola Stresses Need To Educate Nigerians On Recession
Governor of Osun State, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, believes increase in agricultural produce will reflate Nigeria’s economy

According to him, there is no other alternative to sustain Nigeria’s economy than to build the required interest in agriculture and brace up with anything that could promote food production capacity.

Mr Aregbesola held that Nigerians must, as a matter of urgency, invest in things that would prevent famine in the next five years if truly the nation was ready to overcome her present economic challenges.

Lamenting the dwindling revenues from the crude oil sales, Governor Aregbesola said “unless Nigeria sees the need to promote agriculture, efforts to bring back the dwindling economy may be gloomy”.

“There is need for us, especially our young graduates, to lead the nation in promoting agriculture as the only realistic surviving alternative to economy.

“We must embrace farming because it is only agriculture that has direct links to all aspects of life.

“Nigeria has grown to the stage her food production capacity must be urgently expanded to meet the general needs of the citizenry and as well enhance exportation.

“The time to enhance productivity has come. We must all embrace productivity. We must produce whatever we desire to consume,” he stressed.

Congratulating the graduating students, Aregbesola charged them to adapt to the virtues they acquired in the institution.

He advised them to get prepared for the challenges ahead and life after university which he described as “challenging”.

“You must all be prepared. The challenges ahead, especially at this period of over saturated tendencies of labour market, you need grim determination to succeed. You must be rational and critical in the application of the knowledge you have acquired”.

He further appealed to those who are using the precious and reputable name of Islam to perpetrate violence, saying “violence is directly antithetical to Islam”.

“All hands must be on deck to end terrorism in the country as the act is tantamount to the tenets of Islam.”

Earlier in his lecture, Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, charged both private and public organisations in Nigeria on the need to invest more in education.

He said the country had gone to a stage where education should be seen by all as a bedrock for national development and called for the need to encourage participation in both basic and higher education.

Professor Rasheed, who is the Executive Secretary, National University Commission, said all hands must be on deck to promote tertiary education.

He implored stakeholders in the private and public institutions in the country to, as a matter of necessity, rescue the nation from her present educational backwardness by establishing more universities in the nooks and crannies‎.

Prior to the discovery of crude oil, agriculture use to be Nigeria’s economy mainstay, a position the Nigerian government is pushing to return the nation to by pushing for more youth involvement in agriculture.


VOA Trains Nigerian Journalists On Entrepreneurial Reporting

VOAThe Voice of America (VOA) International is training Nigerian journalists and students on business and entrepreneurial reporting, as part of efforts to promote entrepreneurship development in Nigeria.

Declaring the four-day training workshop open in Kaduna State, north-west Nigeria, the Chief of Hausa Service of the VOA Washington DC, Mr Leo Keyen, expressed worry over the inadequate reportage on activities of entrepreneurs in the face of massive unemployment in Nigeria.

He explained that the aim of the training was to awake and equip media practitioners in Nigeria on how to report entrepreneurial development better in such a way that it would provoke people to action.

According to him, the training would help promote entrepreneurship as a key driver of economic development, with a view to turning the economic fortune of Nigeria around particularly as economic recession bites harder.

He further said the training would also expose students of mass communication in tertiary institutions to entrepreneurial journalism that would spur their interest and intellect in promoting businesses activities to thrive.

At the training centre were journalists from selected media organisations and students from Universities who were undergoing a four-day training programme on business and entrepreneurship journalism.

The aim of the workshop is to train journalists on how to cover and disseminate information on entrepreneurship and business, with focus on prospect, development, challenges and highlight sources of funds.

The Head of Mass Communication Department, Kaduna State University, Professor Suleiman Salau, said the training would expose the students with the needed skills to make a difference in their future careers.

Excited participants said they were learning new skills that would assist them deliver better in the field.

The training is being organised in collaboration with Kaduna State University (KASU), with the support from Broadcasting Board of Governors.

A total of 36 trainees are taking part in the workshop.

U.S. Urges Nigeria To Curb Unemployment With Micro-Financing

US EmbassyThe United States has asked the Nigerian government to invest in micro-finance to encourage small businesses that would reduce unemployment.

The call was made by the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle, on Tuesday.

He also advised the government to make the Nigerian business environment friendly for foreign investors.

The Ambassador made the call in Abuja on Tuesday at a meeting with the Minister of Labour, Dr Chris Ngige, to discuss the government’s blueprint for tackling unemployment and how the American government could assist.

Dr. Ngige outlined government’s plans to reduce unemployment and appealed to the United States government to assist Nigeria


Earlier, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr Ayuba Waba, presented a national action plan for job creation to the Labour Minister while urging him to take job creation and security as priorities of his administration.

Some of the other issues discussed by the workers union were the National Minimum Wage, establishment of a Labour Advisory Council and employment of casual workers by some companies.

Delta Govt. To Partner With BDFID To Boost Agriculture

DeltaThe team leader of the British Department for International Development (DFID), Mr. Terry Lacey, has identified agriculture as one of the best ways for job creation especially with the current economic downturn associated with the fall in oil prices in the international market.

He made the declaration during a business visit to the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, to discuss their intention to partner with the state government in the areas of agricultural development.

They presented plans to focus on the private sector, and particularly small farmers because they are the foundation to achieving a stable and sustainable economy for the state.

According to him, if some Deltans decide to become small scale farmers, the internally generated revenue and the agriculture sector would see a tremendous boost and for this to happen the small scale farming has to be recognized by government, big scale farmers and companies.

Acknowledging that the DFID programme falls in line with the Governor’s smart agenda in the area of agricultural boost and wealth creation, he noted that keying into this programme would surely bring about a boost in the state’s agricultural produce.

Expressing satisfaction with the partnership and giving assurances of the state government’s support to the agency, Governor Okowa said that the partnership would boost his efforts towards reducing the number of unemployed people in Delta State.

He reiterated his belief that the agricultural sector was a sure way of boosting the state’s internally generated revenue as well as creating job opportunities for the teeming youths in the state.

He also mentioned that his administration was looking into how it can develop more agro based industries especially in areas with comparative advantage of agro products such as cassava and palm oil.

He added that going into agro processing entails creating market linkages which would form a key factor to the success of the agricultural sector in the state.

Delta Steel Company To Commence Full Operation

DeltaDelta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa has said that the multi-billion naira Delta Steel Company, Aladja would commence full operations in 14 months’ time.

He made this revelation while addressing leaders and elders of Delta North Senatorial District (Anioma nation) who paid him a solidarity visit at Government House, Asaba.

According to the Governor when the steel company becomes fully operational, it would add value to his administration’s commitment to job creation for Delta citizens, disclosing that he had a fruitful discussion with the new owners of the company on the revamping of the steel company during the recent India/Africa Business summit he attended with President Muhammadu Buhari in India.

He also believes that in another 12 to 14 months, the DSC would come alive again with many other companies in the state.

While thanking the people of Delta North for their support and show of solidarity to his administration, the Governor urged the people of Anioma to remain united and cooperate with all ethnic nationalities to move the state forward.

He asserted that the leaders must show examples to their followers so as to engender peace in their areas.

Earlier, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, who spoke on behalf of the Anioma people said that their visit was to show solidarity and support to Governor Okowa.

They congratulated him on his victory at the election petition tribunal, observing that Deltans overwhelmingly voted for the Governor.

Senator Nwaoboshi told the Governor that political leaders and their followers in Anioma have resolved to support his administration to realise vision of prosperity for all Deltans.

Suspended Civil Servants In Delta State Beg For Recall

DeltaSome Delta State civil servants suspended by the administration of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, predominantly youths, have taken their appeal once again to the Governor but this time through the Special Adviser to the Governor on Labour, Mr Mike Okeme.

Acknowledging that the Governor is ‘a man with a great heart, who means well for all Deltans and stands his ground to block all loopholes that may be used to siphon state funds’, they make a very strong appeal to foster a lasting solution to what they described as an ill-suspension.

According to them the shocker came barely 24 hours after the Governor was sworn in May.  They said most of them had resigned from their previous petty jobs, borrowed to rent houses and buy clothes that befits their new jobs as civil servants with the intention of serving the state before they were sacked.

Responding to their appeal, the Special Adviser to the Governor commended the group on their manner of approach towards finding solution to the problem and assured them that their appointments had not been swept under the carpet.

Mr Okeme told them that their appointments had only been put on hold to enable the government ensure an even distribution of jobs for all local governments in the state.

He advised that they should keep their calm, as the government was making frantic efforts to recall some of them.

Reps To Declare State Of Emergency On Unemployment

house on unemploymentThe House of Representatives has called on the Executive to declare a state of emergency on unemployment in Nigeria.

The declaration was one of the resolutions reached by the House on a motion sponsored by the Majority Leader, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila and 78 other members on Tuesday.

The House of Representatives had mandated the Committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity to hold a stakeholders’ public hearing with a view to providing legislative intervention for unemployment in the country.

The committee is also expected to conduct an audit of all foreign nationals working in Nigeria in order to determine whether or not any private or public organization has illegally engaged the services of a foreigner to the detriment of Nigerian citizens.

House Of Representatives Asks FG To Address Unemployment

house-of-reps-to-reveal-lawmakers'-allowancesThe House of Representatives in Nigeria has asked the Federal Government to declare an emergency in the labour sector specifically on employment generation and convoke a national summit on employment.

At Wednesday’s plenary, a member of the House, Honourable Kingsley Chinda, raised a motion on the rising rate of unemployment which he warned was likely to reach 70% over the next six months.

Honourable Chinda warned that increase in unemployment would lead to increase in crime, unrest and breakdown of the social and economic order.

After deliberations on the issue, the House agreed that its Committee on Labour and Productivity, once constituted, would review the Federal Government’s blueprint on generation of three million jobs annually, analyse it and report back to the House in one month.

During campaigns the ruling All Progressives Congress had promised to tackle unemployment by creating more jobs for Nigeria’s teeming youth if given the opportunity to hold power in the centre.

It is the second day of plenary after a one month recess. Activities have picked up, since the House had resolved the rift over the choice of principal officers.

On Tuesday, the leadership tussle came to an end after the House members unanimously chose Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila as the Majority Leader.

Immigration Employment Saga: Moro Denies Alleged Substitution

abba morroThe Minister of Interior, Mr Abba Moro, has denied claims that the Ministry substituted the genuine list of victims of the Immigration Recruitment Exercise stampede with strange names.

According to Mr Moro, the said list was compiled by the Presidential Committee that investigated the stampede and had nothing to do with the Ministry .

The Minister added that the names of victims who were not included in the first list are being collated, and they would be forwarded to the committee which is responsible for screening of the victims to ascertain the veracity of their claims.

Mr Moro also assured the victims of the stampede that all those that are proven to be genuine in their claims would be adequately compensated.

President Jonathan had given automatic employment to some unemployed relations of 15 job seekers who lost their lives during the stampede. He said the gesture was not a compensation for the lives lost, but simply to identify with the families of the deceased.

Government Urged To Promote Vocational Skills To Tackle Unemployment

Folusho Phillips on Unemployment The Nigerian government has been advised to encourage youths to acquire vocational skills as a means of tackling the high rate of unemployment.

One of Nigeria’s leading entrepreneurs, and chairman of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group, Mr Folusho Phillips, gave the advice while giving his opinion on how the government could tackle unemployment.

Mr Philips said Nigeria needed a more productive workforce at the moment.

“What Nigeria needs most today is a workforce that can use his hands. We want to build the nation and the building of this nation is really a physical activity more than it is an intellectual activity. The intellectual part of it, I believe we have done a lot of work. A lot of work in terms of reports and strategy and various things that we need to do.

“If you look everywhere, power, infrastructure agriculture, lots of report and master plans are all there.

“When it comes to execution, we have a problem because we do not have enough people that can use their hands.

“A lot of our youths get educated but never really encouraged to learn to use their hands,” he said.

Mr Philips stressed the need for young Nigerians to acquire technical knowledge in areas like welding, carpentering and fabrication among others. According to him, individuals with such sill would contribute a lot in physically building the country.

“Youths should be encouraged to use their hands and help to physically build the nation as there remains a wide gap in that area,” the entrepreneur said.

He further emphasised that until the youths acquire the capacity to work with their hands and fill jobs positions available demanding right skills, much would not be achieved.

Nigeria’s Vice President-elect, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, had at an event in Abuja on Friday said the rate of unemployment of graduates had reached 80 per cent while unemployment rate is over 35 per cent. He outlined the enormous task that his administration would tackle, with unemployment included in the list.

Jonathan Offers Jobs To Relations Of Immigration Stampede Victims

Goodluck Jonathan Immigration jobsPresident Goodluck Jonathan has given automatic employment to 35 unemployed relations of 15 job seekers who lost their lives during last year nationwide recruitment by the Nigeria Immigration Service.

The President said all steps must be taken to avoid a repeat of the experience.

He said the government’s gesture was not a compensation for the lives lost but simply to identify with the families of the deceased.

Employment were offered to three members of each bereaved family, but some of the bereaved families are yet to present qualified members to take up the offer.

The President said he was deeply saddened by the death of their relatives in circumstances that were completely avoidable and unwarranted.

A Sad Day For All 

President Jonathan said the Federal Government was fully committed to ensuring high standards for recruitment processes into the public service and the provision of safety measures to avoid the recurrence of the incident which claimed many lives.

“Today is a sad day for all of us. First, let me convey our deepest condolences to the families who lost very young people during the recruitment exercise into the Nigeria Immigration Service.

“It is quite regrettable and we promise that such a thing will never happen again,” President Jonathan said.

He further apologised for the delay in fulfilling the promise of employment to members of the bereaved families, explaining that employment into the public service must go through some processes.

Cheques for an undisclosed amount were also given to each of the bereaved families at the occasion.

“The cheque is not for compensation. You cannot replace somebody with any amount of money,” the President said.

Speaking on behalf of the bereaved families, Yunusa Imam thanked President Jonathan for the cheques and letters of employment.

“We thank you, Mr President for the promises that you have kept. We are profoundly grateful,” Imam, a guardian of one of the victims, said.

The job seekers died on March 15 after authorities were unable to control the crowd of at the National Stadium in Abuja.

They had gathered for an aptitude test for the 2013/2014 applicants who had applied to join the Nigerian Immigration Service.

Eyewitness said that over 56,000 graduates gathered at the National Stadium as early as 7:00am local time to take part in the recruitment exercise conducted by the Nigeria Immigration Service when the incident occurred.

After the incident, President Jonathan ordered an investigation into the cause of the stampede and promised to offer the relations of the dead persons job.

Jonathan Offers 167 Youth Corps Members Jobs

Goodluck Jonathan gives 168 former corps members jobsAt least 167 former youth corps members, who distinguished themselves in the national service in 2012, 2013 and the 2014 service year have been offered automatic employment by the Nigerian government.

President Goodluck Jonathan announced the offer to the corps members at the 2014 presidents National Youth Service Scheme (NYSC) honours award held in the Presidential Villa on Monday.

He also gave out scholarship to those of them who would want to further their education and cash rewards to the ones who sustained disabilities during the service year.

According to him, the chairman of the Ibeto Group, Dr. Cletus Ibeto, had donated five million Naira in support of the scholarship scheme.

He commended the giant strides recorded by the scheme through its community development projects and called on state governments to offer accelerated assistance to the scheme on programmes of community and rural development with special emphasis on agriculture.

A breakdown shows that 56 corps members had done well in 2012, 53 in 2013 and 58 in 2014.

One after the other the President handed out the medals and also presented the plaques.

There were also the National Council of Women Society best overall award for three females.

The elated President extolled them for the love of their country and encouraged them to do more.

He told state governors and the private sector to key into the various programmes in stock for Nigerian youths

Over the years, since inception in 1973,  the youth corp  programme has tried to be innovative in outlook. They Minister of Youths Development and the Director General handling the scheme pledge to do more especially with the upcoming elections.

Some of the beneficiaries of the award commended the Federal Governments for the gesture.

After the cutting of the honours cake, President Jonathan instructed that the awards should hold every year to avoid the tension that backlog of the recipients could cause.

Most of the NYSC members have been used as ad-hoc staff of the electoral commission in different elections in Nigeria in the last few years.