Mr Ronald Kayanja, Director, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Lagos, has urged the Federal Government to pay more attention to unemployment and save the country from poverty and stagnation.
Kayanja gave the advice while reminiscing UN 2019 International Youth Day on Wednesday in Lagos.
UNIC had in collaboration with Strategy for Mentoring Initiative and Leadership Empowerment (SMILE) organised a programme on Tuesday to mark the day.
According to him, over two billion young people all over the world were unemployed and that majority of them were from developing countries.
“It is worrisome that over 70 per cent of the Nigeria’s population are young people who have little or nothing to do.
“With youth unemployment rates escalating all over the world, International Youth Day should serve as a reminder to government and multi-stakeholder to remove the youths from the labour market,” he said.
Kayanja said that hundreds of millions of young people in Nigeria were unemployed, unpaid, poorly-paid or doing unproductive work.
According to him, the reasons for such high levels of unemployment and under-employment are complex and include factors such as insufficient work opportunities and a lack of appropriate skills for the given labour market.
He lamented that the formal job market in Nigeria and many developing countries was limited, resulting in many finding work in low-paying, precarious and sometimes dangerous environment.
Kayanja noted that the Federal Government should prioritise youth employment by providing them with education, skills and opportunities for such employment.
The UNIC director said that with over 70 per cent of Nigeria’s population were young people who indicated that young people were the major resources of the country.
He noted that if the country paid adequate attention to them, the young people would drive the nation’s economy to prosperity.
“If the country wants to reduce poverty, inequality and to see people realise their dream to a decent standard of living, a far higher number of decent and productive jobs must be created.
“And for this to happen, a multi-stakeholder approach with a clear vision to achieve young people’s social and economic rights is crucial.
“Collaboration to explore together the best ways to invest in the different work sectors and increase the availability of decent jobs for youth will be part of the process,” he said.