The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha recently in Abuja called on the private sector to live up to its responsibility of creating jobs while the government provides the enabling environment and strong institutions to guarantee investment security.
The SFG who was represented by Mr. Yinka Aguda, a Director, in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation made this known at a Roundtable on BPSR Policy Note on Tackling Youth Unemployment in Nigeria.
While lamenting that it was wrong to place the burden of employment of a country of over 160 million people on the government alone, he called on schools and communities to serve as fertile ground for nurturing youthful creative energies into blossoming businesses.
He further called on the youth to leverage on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to close the knowledge gap instead of just using it to update Facebook page, adding that they should change their mindsets from being job seekers to job creators.
While calling for integrated framework on tackling youth unemployment, Boss Mustapha enumerated Federal Government interventions to include: N-Power, 10billion Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES), the training of 1000 youth on by International Institute of Agriculture (IITA) as well as the African Development Bank (AfDB) approved ENABLE the YOUTH in Nigeria programme and its provision of US$300 million loan to contribute to job creation, food security and nutrition, rural income generation and improved livelihood for youths in both urban and rural areas in the country.
Furthermore, to drive home Federal Government’s commitment, an Inter- Ministerial Task Team was set up under the Chairmanship of the SGF with Office of the Vice President, Office of the Head of Service, Federal Ministry of Finance, Central Bank of Nigeria, National Directorate of Employment, Federal Ministry of Labour, Productivity and Employment and Nigeria Economic Summit Group serving as members while BPSR serves as the Secretariat.
Speaking earlier in a welcome address, the Ag. Director-General, Mr. D. I. Arabi said the idea behind the roundtable is to create a common platform for relevant stakeholders to discuss the findings and recommendations in the Policy Note and to find ways to address the immediate and long-term aspects of youth unemployment challenges in Nigeria.
Also speaking, the Governance Adviser, DFID-PERL, Ms. Ekanem Bassey who was represented by Mr. Sam Unom, the Team Leader said DFID is committed to supporting Nigeria overcome the challenges of youth unemployment and that to that end, it provides accurate data and analysis on how to tackle the challenge, adding that the urgency to tackle youth unemployment cannot be overemphasized if rising crime rate must be checked.
The highlight of the occasion was the launch of BPSR Policy Note on Tackling Youth Unemployment in Nigeria by the SGF.
For: Head (SCD)