NEPAD Nigeria boss, Princess Gloria Akobundu, has identified unemployment and lack of vocational skills development among Nigerian youths as causes of insecurity and youth restiveness across the country.

The NEPAD Nigeria CEO, who spoke to newsmen in her office today during a media chat, said that the energy and resources of youths must be re-directed to saleable skills, if the nation must achieve the peace it deserves. She emphasised that greater attention must return to the development of personal skills in different vocations so as to enable Government curb the twin issues of youth restiveness and insecurity across the country.

She also advocated the need for closer communication between leaders and the youths, which she said, will foist on the youths a sense of mentorship.

In her words, Princess Akobundu said:

‘‘In those days, our schools taught vocational skills, handiwork, crafts, Introductory Technology and all that, but today, all those things have disappeared from our curricula. To get it right, we must return our children and youths to the path of those glorious days when our hands demonstrated whatever we knew early in life. That is what we must return to. Our youths need mentorship, and this can only come strongly at the place of work. This is why I get saddened by the disappearance of vocational centres from our communities. Where these centres ever existed, they are far away from those who need them. We have no business, for instance, siting such centres in cities like Abuja where people hardly use them. They must be situated in the villages where those who need them can easily trek there, make use of them, receive government stipends and get settled with start-up packs at the end of their training. That is the only kind of incentives that will keep such centres active and productive.”

While making a strong case for constant flow of allowances for trainees in the vocational centres, the NEPAD Nigeria CEO argued that the cost of insecurity and

youth restiveness far outweighs whatever Government would use as allowances for the trainees. She said that upon graduation, the trainees not only acquire skills and confidence to be on their own, but also contribute to economic growth and development of their community.

Ekaete Umo

AD/Head of Media