By Odunewu Segun
President, UNIC Foundation, an NGO that focuses on capacity building for Nigerians, Dr. Christopher Imumolen has called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on unemployment in other to tackle the menace.
Dr. Imumolen who spoke at a press briefing on July 19 at the Foundation’s headquarters in Igando, Lagos told journalists that rate of unemployment in the country is alarming, stressing that statistics have shown that over 27 million Nigerian youths are unemployed while another 70 million people are under employed.
“The Federal Government effort of tackling rising crime rate by pumping more funds into security is an exercise in futility. The way out is to allocate some of these funds to solve unemployment issues in the country.”
According to him, when a larger percentage of the youths are hungry, desperate with no hope, they turn to crime. “What the government should do is to act fast by coming up with creative idea which can immediately cushion the effect of unemployment in our country, create enabling environment that will make businesses survive in the country.”
”Government should have its policy and programs geared towards poverty eradication; these provide employment and create the environment for business to thrive.”
He hinted that his organisation, have been doing this on a micro level and it has been very successful, but they now want it at a larger scale, “we are therefore calling on the government, to partner with us. We could assist the government by giving them the prerequisite needed for business to survive in a tough economy”
“What we are doing as an Ngo is to help the Nigerian citizen, teach Nigerians trade they could invest in and excel, we also want to give grants.
It is important that we assist, we cannot leave everything to the government, as a body we have set up an apprenticeship program for Nigerians who do not have something doing. After a period of 3 months, the NGO helps them to continue in the business or start up another business”.
Dr. Imumolen said the UNIC Foundation is now adopting the same methodology by picking up people on the street, graduates who do not have jobs can come and enroll for free apprenticeship program that will thrive.
The Foundation, he explained aside from the apprenticeship also help provides mentorship for the youths.
Dr. Imumolen said the purpose is to equip the youths with the necessary tools required to overcome challenges inherent in the economy.