The Honourable Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, SAN, has said that job creation and youth employment are part of the top priorities of President Buhari’s next level agenda.

The Minister stated this when he received in audience members of the Pan African Youth Union led by Mr. Niyi Oladele John.

Keyamo noted that unemployment is one of the major problems facing youths in the African continent and the social vices experienced in the society could be attributed to youth unemployment.

“There is the problem of insecurity all over Africa and this problem cannot be caused by youths that are much older in terms of age or gainfully employed. There is no way the youth that is gainfully employed even as an artisan will have time to engage in kidnapping, terrorism, armed robbery, banditry and other social vices. The thinking here in the Ministry of Labour and Employment and this Government is that the issue of youth employment and job creation should be top of our agenda and that is why Mr. President has decided to strengthen the Ministry and its Agencies, especially the National Directorate of Employment (NDE).

“There are a lot of programmes under the Ministry and its parastatals that are basically aimed at empowering our youths by making sure that they acquire basic skills to enable them survive on their own”, he said.

The Minister also corrected the misconception by the general public that the Ministry of Labour and Employment provides only white collar jobs to people, which is not true. “That is not what the Ministry is aimed at achieving. We want to make sure our youths acquire skills that would make them entrepreneurs and even employers of labour”, he stressed.

He then enjoined the Youth Union to generate a data base of youths with skills that the Federal government could use to identify youths to train and empower, and by doing this government would have met the objectives of the Union.

He said government is ready to work and cooperate with the group in job creation and skill acquisition.

The leader of the delegation, Mr. Niyi Oladele John, said the aim of their visit was to seek partnership and working relationship with the Ministry and pledged the Union’s readiness to work with the Federal Government in the area of creating jobs and employment for the Nigerian youths.

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