Nigeria has one of the highest rates of global unemployment index with the youth making up a high percentage of this number. In addressing this challenge, the Federal Government has come up with various schemes to build the capacity of the teeming unemployed youth and equip them with the requisite skills to be independent, become employers of labour themselves and depopulate the nation’s labour market.
Speaking at one of such empowerment training programmes for National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members and industrial trainees (IT) attached to the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) in Abuja, the director-general of the commission, Prof. Eli Bala said the training would provide a comfortable platform for development and create a springboard upon which the trainees could leap forward and contribute meaningfully in solving Nigeria’s energy problems.
“This project is timely as it has come at a time when Nigeria is looking inward to tackle both unemployment and energy problems. It is hoped that this training programme which has commenced since 2015 becomes regular certificate in renewable and alternative energy technologies for corps members and industrial trainees who may be lucky to serve in Energy Commission of Nigeria.
“The trainees, therefore, are encouraged to give this training the maximum cooperation it deserves, show seriousness, commitment and zeal, so they can gain adequate skills and knowledge. This, I know, will be useful for you both now and in the nearest future,” he said.
In his remarks, the commission’s director of renewable energy, Prof. Dioha Joseph said the training was to build capacity of NYSC members and IT students to create small scale businesses which would not only keep them occupied but create jobs for others.
“This programme had been on since 1999, we had an MoU with NYSC on empowering the youth corps members which we feel will help in providing handy jobs for them. The motive behind it is that when they leave the service many of them will not need to roam the streets looking for white collar jobs because the simple technology we teach them here will help them be engaged and also create jobs for others,” he added.
A corps member who participated in the training, Victor Ameh, thanked the commission for organizing the training which he said would help participants be self-sufficient at the long run.
“We all know there are very few opportunities in government institutions but this type of training will build our capacity, help us to be self-sufficient and even provide employment for others. I urge other private institutions to also provide such opportunities to corps members attached to them, this way the labour market can be reduced because when you’re self-employed, there’s no need roaming the streets with certificates looking for non-existent jobs,” he added.