07 May 2013, Port Harcourt – Mr Ipalibo Harry, Commissioner, Youth Development and Empowerment Generation in Rivers, has called on government agencies and institutions to map out skills acquisition programmes to tackle unemployment in the country.
Harry made the call at the launch of the Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, Entrepreneurial Skills Training Programme in conjunction with the National Directorate for Employment, NDE, in Port Harcourt on Monday.
The programme was targeted at empowering 100 graduate indigenes of Bayelsa and Rivers.
Harry, represented by Mrs Comfort Iragunima, permanent Secretary in the ministry, said the government and oil industries alone could not absorb the teaming number of university graduates in the country.
“The youths are the real energetic force in our society; the energy is there with them. So, whenever they are deprived the opportunity to express their energies, they become a nuisance to the society.
“In that way, the environment is not conducive for business and Shell is also affected,” she said.
The commissioner also said that the universities and training institutions should provide skills acquisition programmes for graduates, who passed in the second class and third class grades.
Harry said that the category formed the bulk of unemployed youths in the country.
“Only about 20 per cent graduates in the country usually fall into the first class category, which were the most salable in the labour market.
“So, what happens to about 80 per cent who fall into the categories of second and third class?“ he asked.
Harry said it was only when youths were trained to engage themselves and become employers of labour that the country would be able to tackle the problem of unemployment.
Malam Abubakar Mohammed, Director- General of the National Directorate of Employment, advised the beneficiaries of the programme to pay serious attention to the course.
“The programme promises to be quite intensive so the lucky beneficiaries need to put in their best if they want to achieve their aim,” he advised.
Mohammed, therefore, urged members of the Project Management Committee of the skills programme to put in place a robust system for business advisory and monitoring of individual enterprises of beneficiaries.
He said NDE would also, provide the necessary Business Advisory Services to support trainees even when they would have set up their businesses.