By Andy Esiet, Calabar
The Traditional. Ruler and Clan Head of Kasuk II Qua Clan in Calabar Municipality, Cross River state, HRH Ntoe Ededem Ayito has asserted that graduates need more than certificates to be gainfully employed and break even in Nigeria.
The Monarch further advocated for skill acquisition particularly in agriculture adding that if Nigeria could start producing exportable produce our economy will change for the better and our graduates can contribute meaningfully to the growth and development of the country.
Note Ayito who said this in an interview on Monday in Calabar stressed that becoming a graduates was no longer enough neither will it stem the rate unemployment.
Accordingly, he called on relevant authorities to ensure that a graduate after school can stand alone because he or she has acquired requisite skills to do so through targeted empowerment programme that are holistic.
Ntoe Ayito further stated that many of the devilish acts including rituals for money, cyber crime and other vices that are gradually becoming a hydra headed problem are mainly occasioned by unemployment and the rich quick syndrome which has bedevilled youths as young as 14 years of age .
His words : “A lot of things happening in our society today including ritual killings by teenagers, cybercrime amongst others is as a result of unemployment and no meaningful engagement of young people.
“Many young people even in the state people don’t have no work, including the ones who are graduates ,an idle mind they say is the devil’s workshop , our graduates need more than certificates to succeed in the world of today , sincerely speaking certificate is no longer enough , degrees are no longer enough.
“The government is also there and cannot assist because most school leavers leave school and have nothing doing and they say that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop so they should make sure they render either some. The Federal government must sincerely target it’s empowerment programmes and make many of them, like the agro based business is very attractive too, so that millions of young people roaming the streets can be meaningfully engaged”.
He stated that, “in the 70’s, the country produced and exported cocoa, cotton, palm oil, rubber amongst others but look at us in the 21st century we cannot even export again and the little we eventually do, gets little or no attention as all what we do is to import which is not taking us anywhere.
“We have a lot of youths in their millions having no jobs, they should try and focus on agriculture and industrialization in a bid to make sure that all those crops planted are transformed into finished products so that people can buy it from the market and we also export.
“From what is obtainable,we have come to the realization that certificate alone cannot take our youths out of unemployment and poverty, they need to learn skill in agro based sector to make sure such value chain flows. I am a farmer myself, even with all my degrees , in fact I started agriculture early, the youths must be encouraged in this area” .