The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde has met the top Management Team of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), to synergise on ways of tackling youth unemployment which has remained a big challenge in Nigeria.
The NDE team led by the Oyo State Coordinator, Mr Awosanya Adebanjo, paid a courtesy call on the Governor in his Agodi Secretariat Office, Ibadan.
Governor Makinde told the visitors that rather than set the pace in poverty multiplication among the youths, his government was determined to set the pace for taking its youths out of poverty, making them an asset to the State and would work to alleviate poverty.
He stated; “We are aware that NDE has programmes that have to do with the youths, empowerment, positive engagement of the people and things that could reduce social tension and that can rapidly turn the State around. We also know that the Agency has the responsibility to assist youths of the State.”
Noting that his government would cooperate with the Directorate and support its activities towards providing training that would make the youths self-reliant and self-employed, Makinde assured the visitors that their request for support and assistance would be looked into.
The team’s leader, Mr Awosanya Adebanjo briefed the Governor on the activities of the NDE, saying that the Directorate was established in 1986 to combat unemployment, especially among the youths.
Adebanjo said that the NDE had collaboration with the World Bank, in form of a programme called, Youths Employment and Social Support Operation, YESSO which he said is being implemented by the World Bank, the Nigerian government and the participating states, which Oyo is one.
He said, ”Already, we have held three cycles of training on this programme, which was designed to alleviate poverty among the vulnerable and poor households in the seven participating states.”
Affirming that some youths are unemployed, not because there was no job to do but because they do not have the required marketable skills that would grant them employment, Adebanjo said that YESSO consequently has diverse components in the participating states and the component NDE is anchoring is called, Skills for Job. It involves training young, poor people in marketable skills.
”Youths Employment and Social Support Operation is about training for skills for jobs, so NDE trains these youths from vulnerable household with marketable skills that will make them self-employed, self-reliant and to even have access to wage employment where possible,” he explained.
The State Coordinator categorised the Skills for Jobs component into three levels of training namely; Life Skills, Sector Specific Training and Entrepreneurship Training. He stressed that the trainees would be attached to organisations where they would do a three-month internship, after the three levels of training, totalling a nine-month programme.
Adebanjo disclosed that 182 youths from the states that participated in the first cycle of training have graduated, been empowered with starter packs and were already in business.
He said; ”We are in the second cycle of the training with 199 beneficiaries drawn from various local government areas in the State, which would be completed in September.The Nigerian Government and the World Bank will be responsible for all the cost of the training including provision of starter packs for beneficiaries of the second and third cycles.”
Revealing that the preparations for the third cycle has commenced and the Directorate has verified 1,284 out of the mined 2,396 registered with the State government, Adebanjo solicited the assistance of the Governor for the third cycle, in the area of sensitisation and mobilisation of beneficiaries for the programme.
This, he noted, was necessitated by the fact that many beneficiaries that were supposed to turn up for training in the previous cycles stayed back due to lack of effective sensitisation and mobilisation from their various local government areas.
Adebanjo also sought for the assistance of the government in releasing vehicles that would convey the trainees from the venue of the training at the state-owned Institution in Oyo town to their hostels, on a daily basis.