By Sunny A. Ijomah
The Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe has attributed the present unemployment crisis bedeviling the youth population to the security challenges facing the country and warned that if drastic measures were not taken, the situation might deteriorate to an alarming stage.
Igwe Achebe who made the observation in Onitsha at the graduation ceremony of 69 youths of Onitsha origin, who were trained in various vocations facilitated by the Monarch, under his Ime-Obi Entrepreneurship Development programme for Onitsha youths and sponsored by Ford Foundation, described unemployment as fundamental cause of many social ills in the country. He observed that due to unemployment, youths engaged in cultism, kidnaping and robbery.
The Monarch explained that the programme was therefore aimed at making youths acquire skills and become useful to themselves and the society so as to become employers of labour, rather than waiting to become employees.
According to Igwe Achebe, “one of those graduating today is already employing seven graduates in his outfit. It is one way to build the economy and the country and to discourage youths from committing crime”.
He disclosed that the first set of 70 youths, who were trained and assisted with loans worth N500,000 each, totaling N35 million have repaid over N33 million, even as he commended Ford Foundation for supporting the Community Outreach and Entrepreneurship in Onitsha.
Said Igwe Achebe: ‘The financial support was also used to organise long vacation programmes for secondary school students as well as special remedial programme for Onitsha indigenes seeking admission into universities’.
‘We equally have drug addiction programme to prevent and rehabilitate our youths who are into drugs’.
He therefore urged youths of Onitsha origin who were yet to register with the Onitsha Youth Council to do so in their interest and for their development.