SENATE President, Dr Bukola Saraki, has tasked political leaders in the country to empower youths to be job creators so as to reduce high rate of unemployment in the nation.
Speaking at inauguration of first batch of beneficiaries of skill acquisition, training and empowerment programme that he introduced, the former governor of Kwara State also urged the state government to continue to make youth empowerment main trust of its administration.
“It is my hope that from today different leaders from all parts of the country will emulate what we are doing and play their role by creating opportunities for our youths.
“I want to also appeal to the Kwara State House of Assembly to look at laws that we can do that can help to create opportunities for a lot of youths who after they get their certificates and they start work, can have customers to buy their products.
“This is the reason the 8th Senate passed the law that has become the talk of the town ‘made in Nigeria’ products. It is our belief that made in Nigeria products will create opportunities for Nigerians who have products and services to be able to find market.
“We must think out of the box. These are challenging times for us as leaders and we must contribute our quotas for the empowerment of the youths.
“It is against the backdrop of the economic recession in our country; the difficulty that people are going through particularly the youths that account for about 70 million of our population, of which 50 per cent are unemployed, that we initiated this scheme.
“Every time I come home and meet with my constituency I feel the pains and difficulties of the youths, the mothers and fathers who keep on complaining that there is no job, no food on the table and the costs of food have gone up.
“It is with these pains that I have come up with this scheme to help our young people who are ready to work but could not find jobs to be able to play their parts. This is why we started this programme. It has taken a while to get the programme here but I am hopeful that with what we are seeing, this is the beginning of the great future for the young people of Kwara State.
“It is my hope and dream that what we start with today will become successful entrepreneurs and they will in turn eventually train more people and people they train will train more people. So that in four years time we will have over 40,000 of our youths who have passed through this scheme,” he said.
Earlier, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed revealed that the state government had made over N1.9 billion available to entrepreneurs across the state.
The governor said that “for me, it is satisfying to note that the 40, 000 youths scheduled to benefit from this scheme are not limited to the Kwara Central Senatorial district but across the length and breadth of our dear state.
“Today’s ceremony, therefore, further demonstrates the Senate President’s recognition of youths as the most significant component of our population and the need to deliberately create programs for their benefit as the inheritors of our future.
“I am also pleased to note that this laudable initiative connects with this administration’s various strategies to enable young people become self-sufficient and economically empowered.”