The Nigerian Senate is now interested in having conversations that will open up new paths to reducing youth unemployment in Nigeria. The upper chamber held its first Senate Youth Roundtable on Monday with Senate President Bukola Saraki at the forefront of the conversation.
The essence of the Senate Youth Roundtable is to “review the efficacy of policies, programs and other interventions that are intended to reduce the political marginalisation and support the development needs of today’s youth”.
The Roundtable was attended by members of the Senate, representatives from ministries, government agencies, civil organisations, stakeholders in the education sector, youth bodies and other relevant departments. Meanwhile, Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung was noticeably absent.
Here are some highlights from the event:
- Senator Bukola Saraki insists that the youth have been sidelined in national planning and that must change with immediate effect. Hence, practical solutions to youth unemployment must be at the heart of national debates and discourses.
- One of the major reasons for unemployment in the country is the disconnect between those who are supposedly creating jobs and those who actually need the jobs.
- Job creation initiatives set up by the government and its agencies cater to a fraction of unemployed graduates incredibly lesser than the actual number of graduates churned out by the Youth Service Corps.
- Some of the causes of massive youth unemployment were highlighted as “non-functional youth centres, unwillingness of young people to invest in agriculture, a failed educational system, bureaucracy in government agencies among others.
- A graduate program will be launched in October to cater strictly to the employment and skill acquisition needs of women.
- The Senate is committed to passing the Existing Vacancies bill that is “aimed at curbing the increasing rates of illegal recruitment into federal government agencies and parastatals”.
- All the job creation programs that are already in place will be reviewed and closely monitored.