The wife of the Nigeria President, Hajiya Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, has said youth unemployment in Nigeria presents both an obstacle and opportunity to achieving Vision 2030 and the (envisioned) sustainable development goals.
Aisha Buhari stated this in her welcome address at the graduation ceremony of the Eight Edition of Kaduna Refining and Petro Chemical Company, KRPC, Youth Empowerment and Skills Acquisition programme of 100 youths, who were selected from different parts of the host communities in Kaduna state, in North West Nigeria on Thursday.
Represented by Hajiya Binta Mu’azu, Hajiya Aisha Buhari mentioned that as a mother, she realized that if youths have a chance to work and earn a living as full and equal partners in the society, the family will be better strengthened and the nation more stable.
The First Lady informed that any meaningful contribution to youths development would count positively to the social-economic transformation of the nation, saying poverty and youths delinquencies have been a major challenge, but believed that if all could make concerted efforts to effect the change, the Nation would tackle the challenges head-on.
In his speech, the State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufial, observed that ideal youth have been involved in anti-social behaviors and conducts, which are inimical to national security.
Represented by Commissioner, Youths and Sports, Dr. Dan’Auta, the governor added that “Good people of Kaduna State stand behind KRPC’s efforts to increase the youth’s capacity to represent and advocate for themselves and to assist them in bringing their voices and concern together to reach and influence local and national decision-making.
According to Mallam El-Rufia, the initiative of the management of KRPC to come up with corporate responsible programme that addresses capacity development in the form of skill acquisition is, indeed, laudable.
“The KRPC management knows that the youth’s capacity building in general and skill acquisition empowerment in particular, are the ways to go in addressing the menace of unemployment and its attendant vices.”
“We are delighted by the KRPC’s leadership and its quick sense of commitment. YESAP have made a difference in Kaduna State. I understand, now 895 youths have so far passed through the program, and l hope other organizations will emulate KRPC to offer similar trainings to increase employment opportunities to our teaming youths,” he said.
“I called on graduates of the program to take full advantage of this opportunity to change their social economic status, and not wait for ‘white collar’ jobs but be job-providers themselves.
“I admonish you to be in the vanguard of good governance by assisting to sustain our democracy and to shun all negative vices such as thuggery, cultism, violence and any form of criminal activities such as drug abuse,” he said.
Earlier, Managing Director of Kaduna Refining and Petro Chemical Company Limited (KRPC), Alhaji Idi Mukhtar Maiha, said it is the firm resolve of the management of KRPC and, indeed NNPC, to ensure that youths unemployment with its attendant negative impact on peace, security, economic and social activities are reduced significantly, especially within its host communities.
According to him, this is the objective of KRPC behind introducing the youth empowerment and skills acquisition programme in 2008, which has so far empowered 795 youths and, today, another batch of 100 selected from different parts of the host communities on the journey to self-reliance, which would bring the total number of 895.
Alahji Maiha observed that the KRPC has demonstrated, through YESAP, its determination to empower youths of the society without bias to their ethnic, religious or social status, to enable them contribute to the development of Kaduna State and the nation at large.
He urged the graduates to make the most of the rare opportunity and justify the huge resources that KRPC has invested in them, and also to be conscious of the confidence reposed in them by various communities and the state.
Also in his remarks, Executive Director of Services, Mallam Abdullahi Idris, said YESAP is KRPC’s pivotal social responsibility project, stressing that the eight edition commenced from fifth December 2016, with the 100 participants drawn from KRPC host communities through their respective leaders, and were made to fill the required eligibility criteria, including oral, written and medical evaluations.
“It was six-month structured vocational training,” he said, adding that everything was done to take care of the participants, in order to make life and learning easy for them throughout the duration of the programme, which has over 14 different types of trade.
In their appreciation, the graduands, through their “Governor,” Hajiya Basira Yusuf Aliyu, assured that they would make good use of the opportunity to improve the standard living of their lives, families, communities, Kaduna State and Nigeria.
According to her, the KRPC has reshaped their mindset towards religious tolerance, moral ethnic and values, character molding and behavioral aspect of lives, while calling all and sundry to ensure the YESAP programme is sustained to ensure drastic fall in high-rate of unemployment, drug abuse, crime, deadliness and youth’s restiveness.