The Organisation of Graduates Unemployed in Nigeria (OGUN), a Non-governmental Organisation (NGO), has sought the support of the Federal Government in making young Nigerian graduates self reliant.
The Secretary General, OGUN, Mr Yakubu Bello, disclosed this after an awareness walk to the National Assembly in Abuja on Saturday with the theme: ‘Empowering the Youths Through Agriculture’.
Bello said the essence of the walk was to create a platform where government and individuals would come on board to support the youth empowerment, saying that youths contribute significantly to the development of any nation.
He said that a lot of educated youths were enrolled into the society after graduation on yearly basis without jobs, saying that a structure should be created to look at ways to equip these youths so that the country could be free from social vices capable of destroying the country’s reputation.
He said that between 2 per cent and 5 per cent of the hundreds of thousands of graduates produced from tertiary institutions were only employed by the federal government every year, saying that this huge gap would not address youths restiveness in the country.
According to him, the federal government has done its best to create employment opportunities for youths but a lot needed to be done judging by the country’s huge population.
Bello appealed to the Federal Government to support the organisation in making effective plans to empower the youth.
“We support them through empowerment and training as well as scaling up things for them once they graduate and complete their compulsory one-year youth service.
“Once we absorb them, we empower them through farm land and provide them with the farm inputs and equipment.
“We know that the government cannot do this alone as there are other agencies and parastatals associated with employment and empowerment of youths who can collaborate to help the teeming youths have focus,” Bello said.
He added that at the end of the empowerment, the profit margin realised from the harvest would go back to the organisation to be used to assist more unemployed youth as a revolving profit.
Bello, therefore, appealed to the government to channel all the business activities into the hands of the private sector who would utilise the gains effectively in ensuring that youths are self reliant and could in turn contribute to the growth of the country.
Meanwhile, the Director-General of Operations, OGUN, Mrs Kemi Adekanye, said that the primary objective was to absorb NYSC members and take them off the labour market and as well put them on a programme that would make them self-employed.
Adekanye also said that equipping the youths would spur them into becoming employers of labour through the revolving mechanised agricultural schemes of the organisation. (NAN)