President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has called for closer coordination between agencies of the government that are in-charge of youth development and job creation in order to ensure that Federal Government’s policies and programs on job creation are aligned across the board.
Speaking at a one-day Special Public Hearing on Youth Job Creation and Entrepreneurship, the Senate President stated that it is imperative that the Executive, National Assembly, private sector and civil society organizations (CSOs) focus immediate attention on tackling youth unemployment and developmental crisis facing the country.
Saraki also stated that the primary factors contributing to high youth unemployment are high population growth outpacing economic growth; the fact that the curricula in our schools have not equipped students with appropriate skills for employment; and the lack of vibrant industries to absorb competent graduates.
“It is futile to point fingers or cast blame on any one administration and/or government program,” Saraki said. “Nigeria’s youth deserve our immediate interest, best thinking and above all, our best efforts to create workable solutions to include their concerns in our national investment framework.”
He noted that the Special Public Hearing on Youth Job Creation and Entrepreneurship was intended to discuss issues that will inform the Federal Government’s budgetary and social policy decisions.
“For that matter, I am happy that this process has benefitted from the contributions of many civil society organizations (CSOs) that focus on youth development and empowerment,” the Senate President said.
At the end of the Public Hearing, after listening to the participating CSOs and representative of the MDAs of the Federal Government, the Senate President noted that a lot needed to be done to ensure effective inter-agency coordination and sustainability of job creation and empowerment programs of government.
Saraki said: “There is clearly a lot of work that needs to be done. There is clearly poor monitoring in most cases. There is also a lot of overlap between agencies and departments of the Federal Government, however, there is not enough inter-agency collaboration.
“For as long as we continue to spend money on training young people, with no plan on what they should do after these trainings, there is need for a central point in the Federal Government where the coordination of some of these youth job creation activities is to be done.
“As some of my colleagues have pointed out, we must focus on the outcomes and targets of these intervention programs. As such, we really need to review all the budgets of these MDAs to ensure that they are effectively delivering on their mandate to create jobs.
“For the youths that are here and the NGOs, my message to you is that we will need to have a holistic approach and review of what is going on with job creation across the country.”