By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos.
A member of the House of Representative, Hon. Ayodeji Joseph has emphasised the importance of skill acquisition, saying it the panacea to the scourge of unemployment in the country.
Rather than chasing white collar job, Hon.Joseph. who represent Apapa Federal Constituency stressed that the acquisition of skill through vocational training would empower one to become an entrepreneur and self employed.
The federal parliamentarian, spoke Saturday in Lagos at the 1st Youth Summit organised by Hon. Emmanuel Oputa, Deputy Leader Apapa-Iganmu Legislative Council/Councillor Ward “F”, urged the youths to avail themselves with all the skill acquisition programmes of both the state and local government council in order to be self reliant.
Ayodeji, however frowned with the popular notion saying youths are.leaders of tomorrow, querying when the tomorrow will ever come.
According to him, the tomorrow should be now, where the youth should be allowed to occupy leadership position.
His words, ” They always say youths are leaders of tomorrow, I don’t know when the tomorrow will come. I think it should start today. The greatest thing one can do is to acquire skill, become entrepreneur and self employed. People shouldn’t just be given fish, they should be taught how to kill fish”.
The guest speaker of the occasion, Mr. M.O Bamgbose while delivering a paper titled ” Skill Acquisition, An Alternative To Employment ” identified lack of basic skills and competence as factors inhibiting the development of the youths.
He remarked that many of the youths live in a situation of absolute deprivation, while hordes of those who have graduated roam the streets in search of non available jobs, adding that the labour market is super- saturated.
” Apparently the problem inhibiting the development of youth stems from lack og basic skills which will provide self employment opportunities and competence, which are necessary factors for capacity utilisation and increased opportunities.
Let me call the attention of all stakeholders, opinion leaders, leaders of thought and people with human kindness in their systems to the plight of the youth in our society. It is stating the obvious that our youth today live in a situation of acute deprivation, hordes of those who had left school roam the streets in search of jobs that are not available “, he noted.
Bamigbose therefore asserted that governments, corporate organisations and individuals must seek alternatives to curtail the scourge of youth underdevelopment, submitting that the only panacea is to allow individuals to be self reliant.
In his welcome address earlier, Hon. Emmanuel’s Oputa emphasized that youths are pillars of any great nation, warning that any country that fails to invest in the development of its youths either through qualitative academics, skill acquisition and preparation for leadership role can not be great.
Saying that government alone can not provide all the needs for development, Oputa urged all well meaning individuals and corporate organisations to assist the government in the task of developing the youth.