By Biola Lawal
Princess Gloria Akobundu, the Chief Executive Officer, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Nigeria, has identified job creation as a major solution to insecurity and youth restiveness across the country.
Akobundu, who made this known in Abuja on Thursday during an interactive forum with senior NEPAD officials, stressed the need to re-direct youth energy to saleable skills.
“There is need for energy and resources of youths in the country to be re-directed to saleable skills, if the nation must achieve the peace it deserves.
“Greater attention must return to the development of personal skills in different vocations so that government can curb the twin issues of youth restiveness and insecurity across the country,’’ she said.
The NEPAD National Coordinator also advocated closer communication between leaders and the youths to foist a sense of mentorship on the youths.
Akobundu decried the disappearance of vocational subjects from schools curriculum and vocational centres from communities.
‘‘In those days, our schools taught vocational skills, handiwork, crafts, introductory technology and all that, but today all those things have all disappeared from our curricula.
“To get it right, we must return our children and youths to the path of those glorious days when our hands demonstrated whatever we knew early in life,’’ Akobundu said.
“Youths need mentorship, and this can only come strongly at the place of work,” she said.
The NEPAD boss reiterated the need for vocational centres to be sited at locations where there were sizeable human resources across the country.
“Vocational centres must be situated in the villages where those who need them can easily trek there and make use of them.
“They can be receiving government stipends and get start-up packs at the end of their training as incentives to keep such centres active and productive,” she noted.
Akobundu stressed that “the cost of insecurity and youth restiveness far outweighs whatever government will use as allowances for the trainees.”
NEPAD is an economic development programme of the African Union.
NEPAD Nigeria is currently forging a partnership with NAN for grassroots mobilisation and sensitisation of youths for economic empowerment.