Mr. Babatunde Fashola, Lagos State Governor, captains of industries, non-governmental organisations, public servants, graduates, undergraduates, pupils and ex-pupils of technical colleges in the state, have met to brainstorm on how to create jobs for millions of unemployed youths in Nigeria.
Recently held event at the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association complex, Ikeja was also used to unveil the Lagos Enterprise Day, a yearly gathering designed to create wealth and groom the next generation of business leaders in the country.
They all agreed that there was a need to put an end to the country’s youth unemployment.
Lagos Governor said oil boom had been the spoke in the wheel of entrepreneurs development, adding that it had undermined the country’s economic growth.
“That was before. Now, there is a policy redirection, which places emphasis on technical and vocational education with the aim of developing human capital.
“Unfortunately, the country is losing jobs to technicians and artisans from Ghana, Togo and Benin Republic, among others. A report said this is costing Nigeria about N960bn annually,” he said.
The governor said his administration had started a new programme, which he said, aimed at taking youths from the roads and highways to the right places.
Fashola said, “There are job opportunities in the country. But that does not mean there is no unemployment. Unemployment is a huge challenge. But there is under-employment too. What I am saying is that we need to concentrate on areas we have not really exploited. Our educational institutions are not equipped enough to produce graduates who can take up available jobs, especially those in the areas of new skills.”
Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board, Mr. Olawumi Gasper, said there was a need for robust technical and vocational education in the country. He added that the government was re-aligning technical colleges and vocational centres to highlight the importance of entrepreneurship and capacity building.
Special Adviser on Commerce and Industry, Mr. Oluseye Oladejo, said the government’s innovations would make life more meaningful for the residents at large.
Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, said the inauguration of Lagos Enterprise Day would give confidence to students in understanding how businesses were run and boost flexibility required in building a sustainable business.
A director in the Industrial Training Fund, Mrs. Helen Jemirigbe, who spoke for NECA, commended the state government for its achievement in the area of technical and vocational education.