By Adekola Afolabi
Youths inclusion in government policies formulation and implementation was part of the resolutions made by stakeholders at a summit on “Youth Unemployment, #ENDSARS and Aftermaths: The way Forward”, held in Akure.
The all important stakeholders’ summit organised by the Ondo state government and held at the International Culture and Events Center (The DOME), Akure, the State Capital, was attended by the state Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, Federal Government representative, youth groups, royal fathers, opinion leaders, religious L leaders, heads of security agencies, representatives of political parties, representatives market men and women, NURTW Representatives, among several others.
The discussants at the event included; Ondo state Commissioner of Police, Bolaji Salami; Chairman Ondo State Council of Obas and Olugbo of Ugbo Kindom, Oba Fredrick Akinruntan; Catholic Bishop of Ondo Diocese, His Lordship, Most Rev. Dr. Jude Arogundade ; Chairman, Ondo State League of Imams and Alfas and Chief Imam of Owo Kingdom, Alhaji A.O. Aladesawe; Chairman, Ondo State Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, represented by Pastor Moses Ajayi, and Alhaji (Dr.) Abdul Akeem Akorede, Chief Imam of Akure.
Others were, Special Adviser to the Governor on Entrepreneurial Development, Mr. Summy Smart Francis; Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Agriculture and Agri-bussiness, Pastor Akin Olotu; #EndSARS Coordinator, Mr. Oluyemi Fasipe; and Speaker, Ondo State Youth Parliament, Smith Ikumapayi.
The summit was designed to bring all stakeholders in the State together to jointly discuss the unemployment problem facing the youth in the country with a view to proffering lasting solutions to it.
The discussants commended the Governor for organising the summit which they agreed would go a long way to address problems confronting the youth, especially high rate of unemployment.
In his remarks, the Federal Government represented by the Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Tayo Alasoadura said the Federal Government has approved N75b for Youth Entrepreneurship Support Programme in addition to different interventions in the area of poverty alleviation for women, youths and vulnerable.
While saying that nothing can stop the #EndSARS protests other than dialogue, Alasoadura revealed that the unemployment problem confronting the youths today started with successive administrations that have flagrantly ignored basic infrastructures that could have turned around the fortunes of the Youths of Nigeria.
Speaking at the event, Ondo state Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, said attention should be paid to population control in the country by having sound population policy and laws.
The Governor who explained that before the #EndSARS protest, his administration had created the Ondo State Entrepreneurship Agency (ONDEA) to empower the young entrepreneurs in the state and make them employers of labour, further said his government would deepen efforts toward entrepreneurship to gainfully engage the youth in the state and address youth restiveness.
He acknowledged that governments at all levels have not done enough in the area of providing employments for the youths.
A communiqué issued at the end of the summit, among other things, also called for constant and active engagements of youths in the formulation of Government policies that will directly affect them, while Security must be everybody’s business even as funding of Security should not be abandoned for Government alone to shoulder.
Other highlights of the communiqué included: “That there is need for review of education curriculum in line with industry realities with particular reference to technical and technological training of young school leavers. This path should be the way to go.
“That traditional rulers and opinion leaders have key roles to play in protecting monuments and properties of their domains. That the State Government must deepen efforts toward entrepreneurship and ensure that the potentials of our Youths are better explored to their advantage. This sector deserves henceforth, a premium attention than ever before.