By Longtong Ibrahim
Kaduna (Nigeria) – Federal Government of Nigeria has been called upon to re-evaluate and redesign its intervention programs through its agencies such as Industrial Training Fund, ITF, National Directorate of Employment, NDE, National Poverty Eradication Program, NAPEP in order to address the challenge of unemployment among young people in the country.
Executive Director of Aid Foundation, Emmanuel Bonet made the call during a stakeholder’s forum on youth employment and empowerment programs organized by the Foundation with supports from the Nigerian Stability and Reconciliation Program (NSRP) in Kaduna, recently.
While lamenting on the huge amount of money channeled at addressing unemployment, Bonet posited that its impacts are not felt. He said redesigning of such programs should be done in a way that will have to show value for money and take the unemployed youths off the streets.
He said, “ITF just told us that they trained 2million people every year and everybody open their mouth that where and who are the two million? So, if 100million is the total number of young people we are having in Nigeria, and if they train them for only 10 years – it means they are going to train about 40million people. So tell me, ITF has been in existence since 1971.
“So what exactly are we talking about, then I think government should redesign ITF. The redesigning will have to show value for money. If they are training, then we must be seeing people off the streets and hearing less on issue of unemployment; but when unemployment level is increasing, programs like ITF, NDE, NAPEP will need to be re-evaluated again.”
He further added that there is the need for government to call for a huge stakeholder’s re-evaluation of different government programs because the impacts on the targets are limited. “Government should call all stakeholders together to ask fundamental questions in order to change the way things are done and to get the desired results,” he said.
However, the executive director pointed out that the essence of the forum was to bring young people together and agencies of government to interact and understand each other especially regarding unemployment and empowerment programs. He added also that, a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Kaduna state government, NSRP and Aid Foundation to develop a blueprint on how young people in Kaduna can be gainfully employed.
“The technical committee would be meeting next Thursday and will work towards to come up with the blueprint. The technical committee include most of the major ministries such as Ministry of Economic Planning, Finance, Women Affairs and social gender development, Commerce and Industry, ITF, the special advisers, Bureau for Public Service Reform, BPSR and Aids Foundation which is the anchor of the program,” he said.
Participants at the forum includes government representatives from different government ministries and agencies, NSRP, and youths from Kaduna south, Zaria and Jama’a local government areas of the state.