Thursday, March 04, 2010

Are you among the 23 million youth?

“About 40 million youth are currently unemployed and of this figure 23 million are unemployable. It is a calamity. If 40 million people out of 150 million are unemployed, it is a disaster. To say you are unemployable means you are a candidate for crime. It means there are 23 million people that you can draft to commit murder, rape and other crimes. It means we have an army of thugs, rapists, assassins here and there.” Said Depo Oyedokun, the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Youth and Social Development.

To ameliorate the situation, there is a scheduled stakeholders’ conference on youth scheduled for October 26-28. It seems like déjävu. How will the event unfold?

Day 1: Representatives from Youth organizations, National Youth Council of Nigeria, the Youth Parliament, National Association of Nigerian Students etc. will converge in Abuja, ready to be hosted in an expensive hotel for 3-days.

Day 2: Discussion forum. “Experts” in the field will present paper on the chosen theme “Stimulating an enabling and sustainable environment for self reliance and employment/empowerment opportunity for the Nigerian Youth.” New vocabulary and alarming statistics will fly from one end of the hall to the other. Youths will painstakingly ask questions about their future. No one will fall into a state of stupor.

Day 3: Another day of open-house discourse. It may be in form of question and answer session followed by an evening of certification. This is where all the participants are awarded certificate of attendance signed by the Minister of Youth development, Senator Akinlabi Olasunkanmi. The lead organizers will present a conference communiqué signed on behalf of the 40 million youths, out of which 23 million are said to be unemployable, to the honorable minister.

No practical solutions. No career fair. No Potential employers or captains of industry. No action. Three days of tale and talk is a vexation to the youth. All participants return to their various States. An online “after-conference” alumni is formed. The enthusiasts among them use it to communicate burning issues for a few days. But because the event has no rippling effect, nothing insightful is disseminated.

However, our Lawmakers are prepared. For them to announce a conference holding in October so early in February, without reticence and fear of being accused of their flaws that has contributed to the failed system, depict how good this might turn out to be. The minister of education, the minster of Youth development and other stakeholders will work closely with the youth representatives before, during and after the conference to create practical solutions. Revamping the decaying system to salvage the future is a continuous process, not just a 3-day conference affair.

1 comment:

Temitope Olodo said...

A Youth Conference is a good way forward and I believe it is a good avenue to engage and empowerment Nigeria youth to drive forward their agenda of nation building