This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Group Links Youth Unemployment to Kidnappings, Insurgencies

The Anabel Leadership Academy (ALA) at the weekend linked the country's youth unemployment to kidnapping in the South East, violent crimes and armed robbery in the South West, religious killings and Boko Haram in the North and militancy in the Niger Delta.

President of the academy, Mr. Nicholas Okoye explained the link in a statement, noting that the crises were erupting and escalating as a direct result of what he ascribed to the frustration of the youth in all parts of the country.

But the president unveiled the new initiative of the academy to organise Empower Nigeria Conference Series and Road Show aimed at developing entrepreneurial skill in the youths rather than preparing them for paid employment.

He explained that all the crisis of kidnapping in the South East, violent crimes and armed robbery in the South West, religious killings and Boko Haram in the North, militancy in the Niger Delta "are all as a direct result of the frustration of the youth.

"With the direction our leaders at all levels have been taking Nigeria, the emphasis on Private Jets by business leaders, political leaders and even the religious leaders, demonstrated clearly that our leaders were disconnected from the problems on the streets of Nigeria," Okoye said.

He added that the Nigerian youths "need jobs. We must find a way to give them access to participate in the national economy. We cannot keep waiting for large companies or the Federal and State Governments to create jobs.

"The few jobs these institutions will create will be insignificant to the millions of young people that are out of work and need a means of livelihood. We need a totally new radical approach to Job creation, which will be based on "youth empowerment" giving the young people an opportunity to take their destiny into their own hands," the president said.

He explained that the Empower Nigeria conference would be hosted by the University of Nigeria Enugu Campus and attract over 1534 young entrepreneurs, students, self-employed and even job seekers, who besieged the venue in search of direction and hope for a better future in Nigeria.

He added that the most important element for Nigeria to attain the status of an emerging economic power in the global economy was for a clear and concise strategy on "youth empowerment" to be developed and implemented by the country's Leadership.

He said the conference series and road show would be going all around the country in an effort to wake up the Nigerian youths to shape their future and stop waiting for miracles and non-existent jobs to fall into their laps.

He said a high light of the conference was the unveiling of over 250 business ideas and cottage modular industries, researched and promoted by the Anabel Leadership Academy, which anyone could start off with less than N250, 000.

He added that the event "was supported by many high profile speakers who will give personal accounts of their path to success and the challenges they faced as well as the strategies they implored to get ahead in life".

Some of the notable speakers include Special Adviser to the President on Technical Matters, Mr. Nze Akachukwu Nwankpo, Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission, Mr. Osita Chidoka, Chairman /CEO of the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, Dr Sam Amadi and Enugu State Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Mr. Chijoke Agu among others.

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