By: Joy Odor/Kaduna
The Wife of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Hajiya Aisha Muhammadu Buhari has stressed that youth unemployment in Nigeria presents both an obstacle and an opportunity to achieving Vision 2030 and the sustainable development goals.
She stated this in her welcome address at the graduation ceremony of the Eight Edition of Kaduna Refining and Petro-Chemical Company Limited (KRPC) Youth Empowerment and Skills Acquisition Programme of about one-hundred selected participants from different part of the host communities in Kaduna, North West, Nigeria on Thursday.
Represented by Hajiya Binta Mu’azu, Hajiya Aisha Buhari was of the opinion that poverty and youth’s delinquencies have been a major challenge but believed that if Corporate and Government Organizations make concerted efforts to make the change, the Nation will tackle the challenges head on.
According to her, meaningful contribution to youth’s development will count positively to the social-economic transformation of the nation. “As a mother, she realized that if youths have a chance to work and earn a living as full and equal partners in the society, the family will be better strengthened and the nation more stable.
“It is also undeniable that the youths themselves constitute an asset to the nation and it is not an understatement to say that what Nigeria becomes tomorrow depends on how it harnesses the potential of its youths today”.
“The topic of the empowerment is a very fascinating one, especially when you look at the history of Nigeria and what the future holds for the nation. There is a lot of opportunities that the nation offers to its youths while at the same time there are many challenges we are faced with today”.
“Graduands, we see you as Nigeria’s future leaders, leaders that will go to work from day one with the singular mission to and develop their society. As a group, individuals and as a government, we must learn to lend a hand to the youths and create an enabling environment for entrepreneurs and business owners to evolve” she ended.
In his speech, the State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufial observed that ideal youth has been involved in anti-social behaviors and conducts which are inimical to national security.
Represented by the Commissioner Youths and Sports, Dr. Dan’Auta, the Governor added that the 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.
He therefore called on the graduates to take fully advantage of this opportunity to change their social economic status and not wait for white collar jobs but be job providers themselves.
Earlier, the Managing Director of Kaduna Refining and Petro-Chemical Company Limited, Alhaji Idi Mukhtar Maiha said it is the firm resolve of the management of KRPC and indeed NNPC to ensure that youths unemployment with its attendant negative impact on peace, security, economic and social activities are reduced significantly especially within tits host communities.
According to him, this is the objective of KRPC behind introducing the youth empowerment and skills acquisition programme in 2008 which has so far empowered 795 youths and today another batch of 100 selected from different part of the host communities on the journey to self-reliance which will bring the total number of 895.
“The KRPC has demonstrated through YESAP its determination to empower youths of the society without bias to their ethnic, religious or social status to enable them contributes to the development of Kaduna State and the nation at large.
“KRPC believes in the dynamism and vibrancy of the youth segment of our society as a vital platform to transform the social-economic terrain. The YESAP program is targeted at empowering youths and providing them with a means of livelihood by creating job opportunities for them”.
“I urged you the graduates to make the most of the rare opportunity and justify the huge resources that KRPC has invested in them and also to be conscious of the confidence response in them by various communities and the state.
“Today marks a new beginning in the rest of your lives, so work hard, be courageous, be steadfast and set your minds to achieving your goals, and by so doing, you would become a source of joy not just to KRPC but also to your families” he stressed.
In their appreciation, the graduated through their Governor, Hajiya Basira Yusuf Aliyu assured that they will make good use of the opportunity to improve the standard living of their lives, families, communities, Kaduna State and Nigeria.
According to them, the KRPC has reshape our mindset towards religious tolerance, moral ethnic and values character molding and behavioral aspect of lives while calling all and sundry to ensure the YESAP program is sustained to ensure drastic fall in high rate of unemployment, drug, crime, idleness and youths restiveness.
“At this junction, l would like to make a clarion call to KRPC, traditional institutions and all other relevant stakeholders to please endeavor that YESAP program is sustained. This is because in doing so there will be a drastic full in high rate of unemployment, drugs abuse, crime, idleness and youth restiveness.