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90m youths unemployed, says NBTE Secretary Bugaje

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Nigeria has about 90 million unemployed youths comprising graduates and other educated citizens, the Executive Secretary of National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Professor Idris Muhammad Bugaje has said.

He also said there are 10 million out-of-school children, majority of whom are almajiri across the country.

The NBTE boss noted that the high rate of unemployment is largely responsible for the current insecurity in the North and other parts of the country.

Bugaje spoke at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Science and Technology Forum (STF) in Kaduna.

He said: “As we speak, the unemployment rate in the country is alarming because there are about 90 million unemployed youths in the country and majority of them obtained their degrees but without having jobs.

“Bangladesh supplies its youths with skills to countries like Saudi Arabia and others as artisans. At the end, they get foreign currency to take home. So, why can’t we train out youths in skills acquisition?

“This is why we are mandating our tertiary institutions to ensure they offer training in Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) because we are hoping that by next year, we will not offer accreditation to any course without the institutions offering courses on TVET.

“There is a group of unemployed youths springing up in Kano. They are called ‘the anarchists’. They say they have been abandoned by the government and, therefore, they would be destroying all government installations they come across.

“It is a small group for now. But we need to take action now before the group grows and becomes another serious security threat to the country.”

The NBTE boss urged on the Federal Government to ensure that skills acquisition courses are given priority in tertiary institutions to reduce unemployment across the country.

Outgoing STF President Professor Ibrahim Mohammed-Dabo said the forum was established 20 years ago by patriotic Nigerian scientists and engineers of northern extraction for promoting science and technology for the development of the region.

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