By Kazeeem Akande
Lagos – The Lagos State Action Democratic Party(ADP) governorship candidate in the 2019 elections, Mr Babatunde Gbadamosi, has urged government at all levels to create opportunities for young people to address the high rate of youth unemployment in the country.
Gbadamosi spoke to journalists on the sidelines of the graduation ceremony of Youth New Club (YNC) Skill Acquisition Programme, on Saturday in Lagos.
According to him, the youth are a great asset to the country as they have the energy, the number and the creativity to propel national development .
He, however, said that failure to create opportunities for the youth might force them into negative acts, hence, undermining the peace and progress of the country.
”Youth empowerment through jobs and others is very critical to national development.
”Unfortunately, governments seem to have dropped the ball, in the area of creating opportunities for young people, who actually constitute more than 70 per cent of the population .
”We must create opportunities for the youth in order to prevent the apocalyptic situation that former President Obasanjo warned us about, that if we continue to create a situation where the youths are unemployed, we will be creating a collapsing society,” he said.
Gbadamosi, who was the chairman of the graduation ceremony, said he decided to identify with YNC’s skill acquisition programme because he believed youth empowerment was the way to go.
He said apart from supporting YNC with resources to train the beneficiaries in the different vocations, he would be providing the 10 best graduands with capital to start their businesses.
While commending the youth organisation for the initiative, Gbadamosi said he would continue to provide support to ensure the sustenance of the skill acquisition programme.
He said youths could not be blamed for their low participation in politics as they were not given the right opportunity by the older generation.
Gbadamosi, however, urged the youth not to lose courage but double their efforts to seek leadership positions by taking active part in politics.
He warned young people against allowing themselves to be used and dumped by politicians during elections, urging them to start making political choices that truly care about them.
The ADP chieftain said nation-building was a collective responsibility, urging young people to do their best for the good of the nation.
He said it was not too early for Nigerians to start discussing 2023 as it was normal in politics to plan ahead.
Gbadamosi urged citizens to queue behind leaders that meant well for the country when it was time for election.
Speaking, Mr Abraham Osho, President of YMC, said the skill acquisition programme was initiated by the club in 2016 to help create entrepreneurs.
He said no fewer than 2000 youths, trained in vocations such as hairdressing, carpentry, fashion designing and others would be graduating at the ceremony.
”The essence of the programme, which for now is for youths in the Lagos West Senatorial District, is to create entrepreneurs and not job seekers.
”We believe entrepreneurship is key to national economic development, that is why we are doing this to empower young people,” he said.
He commended Gbadamosi for his consistent support for the programme,which he said, had impacted on many lives