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Why Nigerian Youth Remains unemployed – Pantami

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The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami has highlighted plausible measures to reduced unemployment among the teeming youths in Nigerian.

The Minister said the best way for Nigerian youths to break the yoke of unemployment in the country was for each and every one of them to create digital enterpreneurs and to acquire vocational skills which according to him would make them independent and self reliant in the society.

Pantami Who stated this on Wednesday in his Inaugural lecture Titled ” Digital Economy, Digital Youth and the Imperatives of Sustainable Development for the 21st Century at Fountain University, Osogbo, the capital State of Osun insisted that the best way to address the country’s high employment and employability rates is to become entrepreneurs, innovators, and risk-bearers, to create more jobs
in society.

He explained that Unemployment and Unemployability across the Globe Over the years, the world has faced the huge challenge of creating productive jobs for its expanding labour force.

“The incidence of youth unemployment is attributed to the educational system which places emphasis on liberal education rather than the acquisition of vocational skills which prepare school leavers and graduates with vocational skills for better employment opportunities.

According to him, This challenge caused by three things—increased population; rapid technological change; and lack of education or skills.

Pantanmi stressed that any nation that lacks innovation and entrepreneurial skills will have to contend with the challenge of unemployment.

Stating Further he said “According to the International Labour Organisation, the challenge that the world faces is one of creating productive jobs not just for the millions who will be joining the labour force but also for the millions who are currently unemployed, underemployed, and engaged in low-productivity survival activities.

“The International Labour Organisation also states the total number of
unemployed youths globally is estimated to reach 73 million by the end
of 2022.

“The International Labour Organisation also states the total number of
unemployed youths globally is estimated to reach 73 million by the end
of 2022. Unemployment and under-employment are also huge challenges
in Africa. According to the African Development Bank (AfDB), a third of
Africa’s 420 million youth aged 15 – 35 are unemployed, another third are
under-employed, and only one-sixth are in employment where they are
paid for the high skills they have.
Nigeria has one of the largest armies of unemployed and under-employed
youths in Africa.

“Statistics have shown that over sixty percent of the Nigerian population is made up of young people below the age of 35. The National Bureau of Statistics in 2022 stated that the youth unemployment rate in Nigeria stood at 42.5% and the general unemployment rate in Nigeria at 33.3%.

“It is rather disturbing to note that a great number of this percentage are graduates from Nigerian universities, colleges of education, and polytechnics who are in the job markets in search of non- existing jobs. It is worth noting that any society that lacks innovation and entrepreneurial skills will have to contend with the challenge of
unemployment.

“In an economy with a high number of unemployed youths and where
finding jobs is very challenging, a lot needs to be done to reverse the trend.
It is worth noting that unemployability is an even bigger problem than
unemployment because on one hand, our youth can explore remote and physical jobs outside the country if they have the requisite skills. On the other hand, even employers in the country have complained that the few jobs that have been created have remained open because many of the citizens are unemployable because they do not have the skills required to fill up the roles.

“In other words, lack of digital innovation and entrepreneurial skills will increase the proportion of the digital youth that are unemployable and
the number of unemployed graduates. Therefore, our citizens need to
become entrepreneurs, innovators, and risk-bearers, to create more jobs
in society.

“Digital innovation and entrepreneurship offer the highest potential for job
growth, creating jobs at faster rates than traditional companies. Reports
have shown that these jobs are growing on average of 10% year on year
worldwide.”

In his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor, Fountain University, Prof. Amidu Saani harped on the need for youth to develop interest in the skill acquisition to enable them to have another source of living which by extension, would help alleviate poverty.

He further explained that the institution is trying as much as possible to develop students’ skills through ICT training and other skills outside their area of study.

He added that that institution is trying its best to help students to identify their potentials for them to be career makers rather than being job seekers.

According to the VC, “any serious university these days would want to tailor its academic programmes along the lines of innovation and skill that are largely influenced by the facilities of ICT, the imperatives of entrepreneurship, faith-inspired morality.”

“In our lecturer of today is a model of how a first-rate scholar of Islam has transformed into a foremost, if not the foremost, cyber security expert, and there is our local icon here, too; the Coordinator of our ICT is a promising computational Arabic linguist who has put the Unit to a functional sphere after a long period of disorder. So, our goal is to produce more PANTAMIS who will also be experts in whatever field of study, not threats or dregs.

Ends

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