Unemployment figure in the country has maintained a worsening pattern with the youth population worst hit, a survey has revealed.
To tackle this, Dufil Prima Foods, makers of Indomie Noodles and Leadership Empowerment and Resource Network, LEARN Initiative have committed to partner under various programmes to address it.
A recent report by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, NBS, showed that unemployment figure rose to 14.2 per cent in the last quarter of 2016 from 10.4 per cent in previous year with over 100 million Nigerians (representing 67.1 per cent) of the countryâ€™s total population of 167 million living below poverty line.
Â While poverty amidst other factors is a major problem against development in Nigeria, unemployment has been identified to be a leading cause.
Tracing the sources of unemployment to inadequate power supply, poor education and bad economic policies, an expert, Shola Babs -Aro- Lambo stated that getting education right would be the beginning of the end of unemployment in the most populous black nation.
To him, the simplest way to address the menace of unemployment was to strengthen investment in skills acquisition and urged the Federal Government to revisit and implement the teaching and learning of entrepreneurial skills in the national curriculum, with the sole objective of making all graduates prospective entrepreneurs.
â€œThe reality on ground is that not all graduates can be gainfully employed. If they are armed with entrepreneurial skills, those that are unemployed can either start their own businesses or form partnerships with the support and assistance from the three tiers of government, instead of begging to apply for non-existent jobs,â€ he explained.
Reasoning along this line, Dufil Prima FoodsÂ is not leaving any stone unturned to complement government efforts in this area so as to get privation out of the way of Nigerians.
This is evident in the companyâ€™s sustained investment in the formal and informal education of the youth and children as a major thrust of its corporate social responsibilities.
Partnering it, is the Leadership Empowerment & Resource Network, LEARN Initiative. LEARN; initiated by former First Lady of Lagos State, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola pays attention to youth development through education, vocational skills and recreation. The programme engages youth in summer and after school lessons, career enlightenment and skills acquisition programme.
Since the initiative was launched 10 years ago, Dufil Prima Foods has always sought for it advancement through cash and material donations, engagement and feeding of participants amongst others.
While donating cash and materials at the centreâ€™s office in Surulere, Lagos, Group Public Relations and Events Manager, Dufil Prima Foods, Mr. Tope Ashiwaju, reiterated the importance of education and skills acquisition to economic sufficiency.
â€œGraduate and youth unemployment have be on the increase because most people lack employable skills needed for self-sustainability. Indeed, the economic competitiveness of a country depends onÂ the skills of its workforce while the skills and competencies of the workforce in turn, are dependent upon the qualities of a countryâ€™s education and training system.
â€œNo doubt, quality education supported with vocational knowledge would go far in achieving economic productivity, â€œAshiwaju said.
He added that the company placed priority on educational development of the Nigerian child and pledged continuous support to the initiative.
He also urged the students to contribute their quota by being committed so as to ensure that the investments on them were not fruitless.
â€œWe are committed to this project because we know that quality education is a legacy we owe our children as they are the future. As children, you should be the change you want to see because it is only you that can determine the path you want to chart for yourself,â€ he said.
Project Manager LEARN, Mrs. Aderonke Oguntoyinbo commended the company for their unwavering commitment to the initiative.
â€œThis partnership has brought excitement on the face of the children having been assured of free lunch during the summer holiday lessons with study materials. This in a way has helped raise their motivation and commitment,â€ Oguntoyinbo noted.