Unemployment worsening, says Sanusi


Governments efforts aimed at creating jobs and reducing unemployment may have yielded very little results, going by what the Central Bank Governor, Sanusi, Lamido Sanusi, has said.

Sanusi, who spoke at the launching of the Southsouth Zone of the Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC) in Calabar, the Cross River State capital yesterday, said the unnemployment rate in the country has exhibited a worsening trend, rising from 8.2 per cent in 1999 to 23.9 per cent in 2011. Specifically, the rate increased from 7.9 per cent in 2002 to 18.2 per cent, nine years later, he said.

Quoting from last year’s General Household Survey by the National Bureau of Statistics, he said 23.9 per cent of the adult working population is unemployed, adding that this would obviously not only have a significant effect on the psychology of the individuals concerned, but also have a destabilising impact on the wider society.

Admitting that the nation is confronted with a various developmental challenges, Sanusi argued that the apex bank in its bid to support efforts aimed at reversing the challenges, continued to partner with the government and some stakeholders to initiate policies, programmes and schemes that will impact the lives of youths in the country.
He said the EDC would be expected to serve Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Bayelsa, Edo, Delta and Cross River states, in enrolling and trainees the youths to take them off the unemployment queue.
He said the EDC provides a platform for state governments, the private sector and the CBN to jointly support entrepreneurship development across the country.

“The centre provide facilities for training, particularly secondary school leavers and university graduates to obtain skills on how to identify, choose, and practically engage in profitable production of goods and services,” he said.
Cross River State Governor, Liyel Imoke, in his speach, urged unemployed youths in the South -South region to take full advantage of the South-South EDC to empower themselves, saying the centre will enable them acquire capabilities to engage as active agents in the economic growth and integration of the region.

He said: “In Nigeria today, there are millions of young people who are economically dislocated either through unemployment or a lack of engagement with any meaningful economic activities. In effect, 24 percent of our economic agents are disaffected and disenfranchised through unemployment and that figure rises to almost 70 percent when we consider those between the ages of 18 and 30”.
The governor explained that in recognition of this problem, the state government, through the Investment Promotion Bureau, set up the Micro-Finance and Enterprise Development Agency (MEDA) to promote and deliberately cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit amongst young people, re-orientating them towards private enterprise.
He said the state has made some noteworthy success in Agriculture as it has established Songhai farm with the first 98 participants returning from training at the Songhai Regional centre at Porto Novo in Benin Republic and are currently undergoing entrepreneurship training at the EDC.
“Last month, we witnessed the launch of the Incubation Centre at the Tinapa Knowledge City, a project driven by the need to provide a creative environment for our ICT proficient youths to develop their skills and hone their craft with the end result being the development of ICT solutions which have direct market applicability and immediate commercial value.”
Imoke, said the state is excited about the launch and that EDC initiative enables beneficiaries to acquire the relevant skills in generating good business ideas, develop bankable business plans, and gain access to microcredit linkage for business startup capital and business development services.
“It presents a seamless integration with what we have already started here in Cross River and I am in no doubt that this initiative will consolidate our efforts. This initiative is a testament to the gains which could accrue from an effective partnership and collaboration between the states and Federal Government” he said.



The Nation
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