By Magnus Effiong
The Clan Head of Kasuk II Qua Clan in Calabar Municipality of Cross River, HRH Ntoe Ededem Ayito, has lamented that high unemployment rate was the remote cause of youths involvement in money-making rituals, kidnapping, terrorism amongst other violent crimes.
HRH Ayito, who spoke in Calabar in a chat with reporters, advocated a deliberate policy and effort at making agriculture attractive to Nigerian youths so as to keep young people busy and to also put money in their pockets.
He said: “A lot of things happening in our society today including ritual killing by teenagers, cybercrime amongst other things are as a result of unemployment and lack of meaningful engagement of young people.
“Many young people, including graduates, I mean well educated young men do not have work to do, and you know, an idle mind, they say, is the devil’s workshop. To these young people, one needs more than certificates to succeed in the Nigeria of today.
“Government seems to be confused on how to solve the problem, and I think the Federal Government should reconsider its approach to unemployment.
“If they want to do empowerment programmes, government and individuals should make many of it agro-based and very attractive too so that millions of young people roaming the streets could be meaningfully engaged.
“In the 70’s, the country produced and exported cocoa, cotton, palm oil, rubber amongst others, but look at us in the 21th century, we cannot even export again and the little we eventually do gets little or no attention and value. All what we do is to import which is not taking us anywhere.
“What I am saying is that we have a lot of youths, in their millions, without jobs and to them, their future is being threatened. Let the federal and state governments, cooperate organisations and indivuduals try and focus on agriculture to engage our youths.
“Everyone seems to be believing that in Nigeria of today, certificate alone cannot take our youths out of unemployment and poverty.
“The youths need to learn skill in agro based sector to make sure such value chain flows. I am a farmer myself, even with all my academic qualifications, I still do farming. Our youths must be encouraged in this area.”
By Magnus Effiong