Lagos,- Mr Seye Omiyefa, the Executive Director, Youth Action on Tobacco Control, an NGO, on Wednesday said youths in Nigeria should be empowered with requisite skills for sustainable livelihood.
Omiyefa told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that youths constituted the most important segment of any country’s population.
He said that youths were the most energetic and innovative, and therefore, made them potential sources for present and future leadership roles.
“If they are not properly directed, they will be left to the pitfalls of education systems that have challenges.
“Also, lack of good social conditions and infrastructure that allows them to think outside the box and become creative and well-focused mature adults,’’ he said.
The director said youths in Nigeria, were faced with various barriers toward achieving success in life, thereby, delaying the developmental process of the country.
He, however, said they should remain focused through entrepreneurship and skill building activities that would ultimately enhance their capability as youth and future leaders.
He said that the system had failed to address the critical and dire situation of youths.
According to him, the level of unemployment is alarming and there seem to be no foreseeable solution to it.
“A direct consequence of this is various forms of youth deviance; social, economic, political, sexual and most importantly crime.
“All of these can be best managed by providing opportunities for young persons,’’ he said.
Omiyefa urged the three tiers of government and NGOs in Nigeria to engage in more youth empowerment programmes.
He said the empowerment programmes should be an integrated approach to providing enterprise training and further provide youths with grants and employment opportunities.
“They should be trained in trades appropriate to their skills, which will empower them to be productive citizens in their community.
“It is pertinent to note that youths in Nigeria have lost hope in government and the government needs to regain the trust of the youths.
“ Youths are tomorrow’s leader and tomorrow starts today,’’ he said. (NAN)