In a bid to address the scourge of growing unemployment in Nigeria, the Ogun State Government has organised a 2-day Employment Conference with a firm charge on stakeholders to join in fighting the menace to the barest minimum.
The maiden edition of the conference organised in collaboration with the Government of Germany through Germany Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), with the theme, “Addressing Unemployment and Job Creation in Ogun State: Tapping into Local and Global Opportunities,” which was declared open in Abeokuta by the Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, in Abeokuta, was aimed at addressing the concern over the alarming rate of unemployment and underemployment in the country.
The Governor who was represented by his Deputy, Engr. Noimot Salako-Oyedele, had top government functionaries in attendance, including the Chief Economic Adviser to the Governor and Special Adviser to the Governor on Finance,Mr Dapo Okubadejo,Special Adviser to the Governor on Budget and Planning, Mr. Olaolu Olabimtan and Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Science and Technology, Professor Abayomi Arigbabu among others.
Governor Abiodun said the theme was a wake-up call to stakeholders to consider the root causes of unemployment, develop actionable steps and make recommendations as well as put up strategies to reduce unemployment in Ogun to a barest minimum, both in the short and long-term basis.
He said that there was an obvious nexus among economic development, illiteracy, unemployment and insecurity, pointing out that the present administration had launched many initiatives to stimulate the local economy and empower our teeming youths.
The State’s helmsman said that the I-S-E-Y-A mantra of his administration was hinged on ending poverty and misery in the State, with each letter standing for a specific area of action geared towards enduring development and creating employment opportunities.
“The establishment of the Ogun State Bureau of Job Creation and the subsequent launching of the Ogun Jobs portal is a laudable initiative which has been taking a lot of our people out of the rising unemployment, while at the same time targeting bettering the career chances of the employed and business owners.
“The establishment of the Ogun State Enterprise Development Agency, under the supervision of the State Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to provide a clear-cut support services system for MSMEs to thrive in the State; an avenue for all MSME operators towards forming a common front and charting a good course for the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the State.
“We have newly created Ogun Airport City with the potential to engage not fewer than 30,000 youths,” he said.
Earlier,the Chairman, Local Orgsnising Committee (LOC) of the conference and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Olu. Ola. Aikulola, emphasized the report of an overall jobless rate of 33.3 percent and over 54 percent in the youth segment, urging the informal youth groups, undergraduates, Youth Corps Members and starter entrepreneurs to seize the opportunities available at the conference as avenue to key into new innovations to tackle the phenomenon of unemployment in Nigeria.
Aikulola, said that the aim of the conference would be defeated without an associated job fair, which ls planned to be held in the first quarter of 2024 as a yardstick to measure its success.
“For the attendant components and in order to accord it the desired attention; staging a worthwhile fair, we have agreed with our partners to postpone the State Job fair, till the first quarter of next year; 2024,” Aikulola said.
In his remarks, Team Lead, GIZ,Dr. Detlef Barth, said the conference was holding at a critical time given the need to take a deep dive into current realities of employment and job creation in Ogun State in the face of the evolving context of work which both presented challenges and opportunities in the context of employment promotion.