At least 70 percent of the Nigerian youthful population of 80 million are unemployed, according to the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Benue State.
The State Director of NOA, Richard Abimiku, made the remark at a national youth summit held in Makurdi.
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He said, “It will interest you to know that Nigeria has a youthful population of about 80 million, which is about 60 percent of its entire population. Although about 70 percent of the 80 million are unemployed, it is no doubt that the most productive years of an individual’s life are when he/she is still a youth,” he said.
He however observed that given the large number of the youth and their present role in the country’s development, the youth are yet to fully demonstrate the will to positively deploy their God given talents and resources available toward national development.
“While acknowledging the efforts of some youth in various professional fields like sports, academic, ICT and entrepreneurship among others, it is important to keep youth on their toes, helping them to think and act positively despite the challenges,” Abimiku added.
The Dean, Student Affairs, Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Prof. Terhemen Aboiyar, in a presentation said the role of the youth in policy making cannot be overemphasized despite the many challenges they face.