Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has said population is not the problem of Nigeria when it comes to unemployment but the lack of ideas and initiatives among youths.
Governor Sule stated this during this year’s employability and entrepreneurship training programme for youths, organised by the Human Capital Development Office, in Lafia, the state capital.
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According to him, with what is presently happening in countries like India and China, with their population of over one billion people each, Nigeria’s population could not be the reason for the high rate of unemployment.
He restated the commitment of his administration towards youths and women, particularly on human capital development, saying this explains why the state government is deliberately embarking on the training of youths across the state to become entrepreneurs and self reliant, as well as employers of labour.
“Entrepreneurship is the major way out. We are not the most populous country, I don’t think population is our problem. Because if you look at what is happening in other countries, such as India today, that are having a population of over a billion people, as well as China, with over a billion people, then you know population is not really our problem. Ideas, initiatives and entrepreneurship are our major problems,” he stated.
He pointed out that, no government is in position to employ all the graduates from the nation’s universities and other tertiary institutions, stressing that even though his administration continues to promote industrialization, when the industries come, they may not be able to employ everybody.
“We in Nasarawa State continue to promote industrialization but even the industries we are bringing they will not be able to employ everybody. No matter how much you do, you won’t be able to engage everybody. People must be independent,” he emphasized.
Drawing from his experience while staying at the United States, where he went to school and worked, Sule said the major employers of labour are the small scale entrepreneurs who employ 5, 10 or 15 workers but who cumulative provide jobs for 60 percent of the total working population.
The Governor used the opportunity to commend the state human capital team, chaired by the state Deputy Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, SSA on Human Capital Development, Mrs. Habiba Balarabe Suleiman, as well as the consultants for the programme, Poise and Oxfam.
Earlier, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Human Capital Development, Mrs. Habiba-Balarabe Suleiman, said the Employability and entrepreneurship training was a deliberate policy by the Engineer Sule administration to equip youths in the state with 21st century skills.