Wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, has urged private and public organizations to emulate the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company’s Youth Empowerment programme to address the current unemployment situation among the youth.
Mrs Buhari said the current Women and Youth unemployment was both an obstacle and opportunity to achieve the Vision 2030 and Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
She said this at the graduation of the eight edition of Youth Empowerment and Skills Acquisition Programme (YESAP), organized by the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KRPC) on Thursday in Kaduna.
Buhari, represented by Hajiya Binta Mu’azu, Co-ordinator of Buhari Support Group, appealed to Nigerians to give women and the youth the chance to work and earn a living, to enable them to contribute to nation development and the society.
According to her, giving the youth and the women opportunity will strengthen families towards building stronger economy and a more stable nation.
“Supporting the youth with skills would count positively to the social-economic transformation of the nation, as it would address the poverty and youths delinquencies which have become a major challenge.
“But we believe that if we make concerted efforts to re-orientate the youth, the nation will tackle the socio-economic challenges head on,“ she said.
Earlier, Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai said the involvement of the nation’s youth in anti-social behaviors and bad conduct were inimical to national security.
El-Rufai, represented by Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Dr. Manzo Dan’Auta, said Kaduna State would continue to support KRPC’s resolve to support the youth in capacity building and skill acquisition.
He said the programme would assist them in bringing their voices and concerns together to reach out and influence national decision making.
El-Rufai said the initiative of the management of KRPC would address the challenges of capacity building and self development.
“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 in its attendant vices.
“We are delighted by the KRPC’s leadership and its quick sense of commitment; YESAP has made a difference in Kaduna State.
“I understand now 895 youths that have so far passed through the programme and l hope other organisations will emulate KRPC to offer similar trainings to increase employment opportunities to our teaming youths.
“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.
“I call on the graduates of the programme to take full advantage of this opportunity to change their social economic status and not wait for white collar jobs and 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, KRPC official, Mallam Idi Mukhtar, said it was the company’s resolve to ensure that youths’ unemployment, with its attendant negative impact on peace, security, economic and social activities, was reduced significantly especially within its host communities.
Mukhtar said the objective of the programme, initiated in 2008, was to reduce joblessness and develop the youth who would create employment opportunities for others.
He said the programme, which had so far empowered 895 including those just graduating, was aimed at ensuring youth self reliance.
He said the KRPC, through YESAP, had demonstrated its determination to empower youths without bias to their ethnic, religious or social status to enable them to contribute to the development of Kaduna State and the nation at large.
The KRPC official urged the graduates to make the most of the rare opportunity and justify the huge resources invested in them and also be conscious of the confidence responsed in them by various communities and the state.
In their appreciation, the graduands, through their representative, Hajiya Basira Aliyu, assured that they would make good use of the opportunity to improve the standard of their living and that of their families, communities, Kaduna State and Nigeria.
According to them, the KRPC has reshaped their mindsets toward religious tolerance, moral, ethnic and character molding for a better society.
They appealed to stakeholders to sustain the YESAP programme, to address the high rate of unemployment, crime, idleness and youths restiveness.