THE need for gainful employment of citizens in any society cannot be overemphasized as it provides the key to a chain of other stabilizing socio-economic as well as political activities in any given society.
MANY nations or society with employment problems have had their social, political and economic structures dislocated as the scourge of unemployment has a spiraling effect on all other sectors of the economy.
THIS among other reasons explains why countries of the world make frantic efforts to ensure that unemployment as a problem are tackled headlong so as to keep it in check.
DIFFERENT countries of the world adopt various means of checking the scourge especially youth unemployment. The advanced democracies for example have some cushioning measures like welfare scheme in which the unemployed are given some stipends to keep body and soul together before they are finally fixed up with jobs.
COUPLED with this scheme are also Employment Agencies which serve dual purposes of acting as data bank and “Middle men” for the employers as well as jobs seekers. They provide useful information for employers of Labour as to the availability of qualified applicants who register with them with details of their curriculum vitae and to the applicants who are well fed with vital information of available jobs with details about such job specifications, qualification required, remuneration and all other such information as may be required.
HERE in Nigeria, spirited efforts have been made over the years to also address the issue of unemployment especially among youths who have created social, economic and political problems for governments at all levels.
IT will be recalled that as a way of redirecting the attention of unemployed Nigerian youths, the then military government of Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo floated a youth employment scheme which he tagged, “Operation Feed the Nation’ (OFN), the aim of which was to have our youths go back to the land and farm for the benefit of all.
FUNDAMENTALLY, the scheme was to serve the dual purpose of directing the energies of the teeming unemployed youths into productive venture and also to reduce the army of the unemployed even as Nigerians were to have abundant food to eat.
REALISING the unending scourge of unemployment, the then Alhaji Shehu Shagari’s administration also made effort to contain it by floating the, “Green Revolution” programme to achieve a zero unemployment status.
AFTER these, the then Ibrahim Babangida’s administration created a body called the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) to try and collate and coordinate the task of registering and giving employment to the unemployed.
THE OBJ’s second coming saw the creation of the National Poverty Eradication Programme(NAPEP) all aimed at tackling unemployment and it is imperative to note at this point that all these interventions and strategies have not been effective due mainly to policy summersaults and inconsistencies on the part of succeeding administrations.
IN Edo state today, the Governor Godwin Obaseki’s administration has unequivocally expressed his concern about the threat to social and economic peace by the scourge of unemployment and has created a skills development agency called Edo Jobs for the training and up skilling of young men and women in the state.
As the Governor Obaseki administration marked the first year in the second tenure on November 12, 2021 , THE NIGERIAN OBSERVER applauds the vision behind the up scaling of Job employment opportunities for Edo residents especially the youths through direct employment and capacity development for career advancement within and outside Edo state.
WORTHY of note is the Edo State Skills Development Agency and the skills development and entrepreneurship unit primarily focused on the creation of employment through skills acquisition, development and entrepreneurship.
ALSO worth mentioning is the state government resolve to develop young men and women without skills to make them employable through the establishment of the Edojobs . We are impressed with the newly constructed Victor Uwaifo Creative Hub that will reposition the state as a leading source of skilled talent in the creative industry and provide infrastructure to attract major projects and investments into the state.
THE creative hub, named after music maestro, Sir, Prof Victor Uwaifo commissioned by the Governor will serve as a center for multipurpose Art Theatre, live concerts, Film Screening events, up skilling local talent and workforce, talent management and Job placement amongst others.
IN the words of Governor Obaseki the facility which includes editing suit will help artistes to produce quality music, film and other contents for global consumption. The project was conceived to provide youths in the state the environment to excel in view of the abundant talents that abound in the state.
THE Governor who spoke amidst cheers from the audience at the Edo Youth Mega Concert assured Edo youths of the governments readiness to be with the young Edo population to excel in their chosen careers, noting that it was the wish of the government to open the space for them and make Edo a home for them
BY and large, it must be noted that the only way to solve the problem of unemployment and poverty is to invest in skills acquisitions through human capital development so as to make job seekers to become employers of Labour instead.
THE NIGERIAN OBSERVER congratulate the state government for striving to make Edo State a leading source of skilled talent in the creative industry as well as provide the infrastructure to attract major projects and investment into the state since the creative industry is the next significant player in the Nigerian economy and a huge contributor to the nations GDP after oil and Agriculture.