The Industrial Training Fund has stated that Nigeria’s unemployment and underemployment rates have been rising daily and that this is a ticking time bomb that needs to be halted.
Joseph Ari, the Director-General of the ITF, who made this announcement in Abuja on Friday, encouraged the corporate sector and other stakeholders to collaborate with the federal and state governments to stop this unwelcome increase in order to prevent an economic crisis.
A delegation led by the newly appointed Director-General of the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, Adewole Oyerinde, was in attendance at the fund’s Abuja offices as Ari gave a speech.
Referring to unemployment and underemployment statistics highlighted by Oyerinde at the meeting, the ITF boss said, “My colleague has reeled out the numbers in terms of percentage of the unemployment rate in our country.
“And it is rising by the day. Rising on account of the booming population, which is youth-based. Also, our tertiary institutions have continued to churn out these young men and women. So we need to do something fast because we are sitting on a time bomb.”
Ari mentioned that the ITF was cooperating with NECA on the Technical Vocational Education and Training to stop the rise in unemployment and underemployment in Nigeria as one of the primary strategies used by the ITF to address the problem.
He said, “The ITF has been at the forefront advocating the need for Nigerians to be availed with Technical Vocational Education and Training. The essence is that this is one component that will largely address the issues of unemployment and under-employment.
“Our studies with the NECA team have availed us the opportunity to understand what goes on in other climes of the world, particularly those ones that are adjudged as the first world powers.
“They leverage on Technical Vocational Education and Training and it is the direction to go, hence, they are where they are. So the ITF decided to draw the attention of Nigerians to embrace TVET as the only way that we will address the unemployment saga to a large extent in our nation.”
Ari added, “And so the only thing is to equip as many Nigerians as possible who can set up on their own, develop the nation, grow SMEs, which is the largest job creator in any clime, and then change the economy of the country for good.”
A report by Statista earlier in the year revealed that the estimated youth unemployment rate in Nigeria was at almost 19.61 percent.
The youth unemployment rate refers to the percentage of the unemployed in the age group of 15 to 24 years as compared to the total labor force.
Youth unemployment rates are often higher than overall unemployment rates, which is true in Nigeria as well: the general rate of unemployment was approximately six percent in 2018.
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