Youth engagement, empowerment panacea to peaceful and secured environment ― Saraki

THE Minister of State for Transport, Senator Gbemisola Saraki has identified youth engagement and Empowerment as the only panacea to peaceful and secure environment in the country, saying the federal government is making a concerted effort to ensure that the injustices and inequalities within the nation are not only reduced but corrected.

Saraki who made this observation in Okene local government area of Kogi State during the annual youth engagement organised by Ebira Information and Resource Centre lamented that millions of graduates entered the labour market annually without any hope of getting jobs to assist themselves and their parents who laboured so much to pay their school fees.

The Minister who was represented by a human right activist Mr Abdul I. Karim said President Muhammadu Buhari has already set the ball rolling, determined and focused on the three key issues such as economic development, security and the fight against corruption that would pave ways for
a greater Nigeria for all where jobs would be created for the youth and other Nigerians.

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She urged members of Ebira Information and Resource Centre to deliberate and think out of the box on the best ways to engage youth meaningfully.

In a paper titled “Taking new direction to the next level: The imperative of privatization and empowerment consolidation” presented by Dr Yakubu Ozohu Suleiman of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, the erudite scholar, urged the federal government to be proactive in the completion and operationalization of Ajaokuta Steel company to generate enormous jobs opportunities for the teeming unemployed youth in the country.

“As part of avenue to tackle unemployment in Kogi state and the country at large, aside from the Ajaokuta steel plant resuscitation, the federal government should also have the political will to dredge River Niger to generate revenue for the country and boost the business activities of Kogi and other neighbouring states.

” If these two sectors are considered for reposition, poverty that is biting harder every day will be removed and the living standard of the people will improve,” he said.

The convener of the annual youth engagement Comrade Abdul Karim said the centre was created in 2005 principally to assist youth in gaining job opportunities.

He added that so far over 50 graduates have been assisted by the centre to secure a job in civil service and private organisations across the country.

Former commissioner for works Engr Abdulumuni Sadiq in his remark said Governor Yahaya Bello is desirous of empowering youth, assuring that the second term of the governor would be loaded with laudable empowerment programmes that would remove the youth from the street.

He added that programmes like N-power of the federal government would be replicated in Kogi state to improve the living standard of the people.

“I am also planning to invest in training youth in artisanship and skill acquisition in order to engage them and reduce youth restiveness in the central senatorial district of Kogi state.

The highlight of the annual youth engagement was the presentation of award and gift to the Honourable Minister of State for Transport, Senator Gbemisola Ruqayyah Saraki for her effort in youth empowerment and engagement.

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