Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State on Thursday said the huge unemployment crisis in the country was worrisome.
The governor made the remark at the 1st Annual Lecture of Swaaya Limited, publishers of Freedom Online newspaper, with the theme: “Unemployment: How Do We Tame This Monster?”
Obaseki, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Taiwo Akerele, said his administration had started making huge investments in technical and vocational education to empower the youth.
He said the step was part of efforts to address the problem and create more jobs.
Obaseki said: “We realised that with the right skills and technology, the problem of unemployment can be addressed and the Edo State Government has put in policies to create 200, 000 jobs within four years.”
His Lagos State counterpart, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, said it was essential for people to acquire appropriate skills and vocational training.
Ambode, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Idiat Adebule, said his administration was also taking steps to achieve the objective.
Ambode said: “The Lagos State Government has been providing windows of opportunities in this regard through various vocational skills acquisition centres in parts of the state.”
Ambode, commending organisers of the lecture, described the media as the conscience of the people.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State in his keynote address said unemployment was a socio-economic problem that led to increase in crime.
Ikpeazu, who was represented by his Deputy, Ude Oko-Chukwu, identified several factors that led to the rate of unemployment.
He listed wrong education policy, epileptic power supply, corruption, ghost workers syndrome, neglect of agricultural sector, high importation and lack of access to capital funds as some of them.
Ikpeazu said: “We need to discuss the issue of unemployment as a matter of urgency because it is fundamental to the progress and development of the country.
“There must be a reformation of the education system where practicals and skills are taught to empower people.
“Government has a lead role to play by creating the enabling environment and the unemployed must acquire skills to make them productive, self-reliant and employable.”
A former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, urged government at all levels to employ the services of indigenous companies rather than contract foreigners to carry out projects.
According to Daniel, this will create jobs as well as circulate wealth in the country.
In a goodwill message, Chief Bode George, the South-West Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, called for decentralisation of power so that states would manage and use their resources to develop their states.
Gabriel Akinadewo, the Publisher of Freedom Online, said it was sad that Nigeria, with all her natural endowments, was faced with the looming monster of unemployment.
Akinadewo said there was the need to reorder the nation’s value system.