Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has identified entrepreneurship as the antidote for youth employment in the country, describing it as an employment strategy that leads to economic sufficiency for the people.
Akeredolu who stated this during a summit titled “Youth unemployment, #ENDSARS and Aftermath: The way Forward” held at the International Culture and Event Center (DOME), Igbatoro road, Akure, the State capital, called for the establishment of technical schools and trade centres to produce youths who are self-reliance and employers of Labour.
The governor maintained that the benefits of entrepreneurship cannot be overemphasised as it remains the antidote for youth unemployment, stressing the need for government at all levels to inculcate and entrench the culture of entrepreneurship among the youth.
The governor who also advocated for a population law as one of the ways of addressing the growing rate of unemployment across the country said the country must chart a new cause to address the issue of youth unemployment.
According to him, no state government, whether national or sub-national, can employ all the unemployed youths in the country.
He noted that Nigeria population keeps increasing on daily basis, and stressed the need for population law, saying a nation without population law is not prepared for growth.
He said: “We must be able to control our population through population law. We are almost the size of China population. But in China today, there is a law that you can’t have more than one child. We must be deliberate about this population law.”
Akeredolu said that the country must also look into the continuous registration and approval of Universities, adding that establishment of technology and trade centres should be encouraged to provide self-sustainable employment for the youths.
He said the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) should be retooled to engage the youths productively in a way that part of the service year should include mandatory military training for self-defence and more for entrepreneurship through technical and technological training and trade.
He said this would help to empower the youths and discourage the massive jostling for white-collar jobs by the unemployed youths across the country.
Akeredolu disclosed that before the #ENDSARS protest, his administration has created the Ondo State Entrepreneurship Agency (ONDEA) to empower young entrepreneurs in the state.
The governor charged religious leaders, traditional rulers, parents and other stakeholders to engage the youths and discourage them from the act of destruction and vandalism while appealing to the youths to shun violence and act of vandalism.
The Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Tayo Alasoadura, lamented that the private sector which used to be the harbinger of employment has been destroyed, thereby putting all the tasks and responsibilities on the government
He noted that the bane of the society in the country is the youth unemployment, and said this has been with the country for long, even before the present administration came to power.
He, however, said that the Federal Government would soon commence programmes that would engage Nigerian youths and lift them out of unemployment.
The event was attended by traditional rulers across the state led by the Chairman of the Council of Obas, Oba Fredrick Akinruntan, Olugbo of Ugbo Kingdom, religious leaders including Alhaji Aladesawe, Chairman of Ondo state League of Imams and Alfas and Chief Imam of Owo kingdom, Alhaji Abdul Akeem Akorede, Chief Imam of Akure Empire and others.