Jimoh Fathia Abiodun, Abeokuta, Ogun State
The Federal government is leaving no stone unturned to end unemployment problem in the country.
To this effect, the Small Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, SMEDAN has trained over 200 Young Business Owners In Nigeria, Y-BON, to create new opportunities for unemployment and enterprises growth in the country.
At the sensitisation programme, organised in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, the SMEDAN Director-General, Dr. Dikko Radda, blamed the high rate of unemployment in the country on poor entrepreneurial skills.
The Director-General, who spoke through the Assistant Director, Enterprise Development and Promotion Department of the Agency, Mrs. Ime Andy, lamented that the dearth of skilled personnel and entrepreneurial competence was a major cause of unemployment among the youths.
He added that inadequate vocational skills centres and the non-orientation of educational system to the production of vocational skills aligned to industry requirements were also causes of unemployment.
Radda, who said that the unemployment situation in Nigeria had reached a crisis level, noted that statistics show that only one out of every 100 graduate is assured of getting a job in Nigeria.
He stressed that SMEDAN designed the Y-BON programme to provide a platform for existing entrepreneurs either as stand-alone or cooperative society for further support and to end the tale of unemployment among the youths.
Radda added that the support package was aimed at reducing some fundamental challenges that usually confront Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs.
“Our target beneficiaries are young people between the ages of 20-45 years and the focus on this target is because of the need to create new opportunities for unemployment and enterprises growth which are usually not easily realisable in the start-ups,”Radda said.
He however disclosed that in 2018, the agency supported 460 business owners in six states of the federation which include, Anambra, Kebbi, Cross River and Osun, adding “SMEDAN” provided each of them with work place.”
“For this year 2019, three state have been selected as beneficiaries of the programme which are Baylesa, Ogun and Katsina.
“The programme will not only produce skilled labour but will also provide jobs for the high number of graduates that annually enter the Nigerian labour market and this would certainly reduce socio-economic unrest and poverty, ”he said.
Mr. Gbenga Ogundeji, the South West Zonal Coordinator for SMEDAN, said the B-YON Programme was to assist young persons“ to be their own boss and at the same time create job opportunities for other job seekers.’’
“The sensitisation programme is the first stage; in Ogun State, we have gathered 200 participants (100 in Abeokuta and another 100 Sagamu.)
He added that the 100 successful participants would be trained on entrepreneurship and also be assisted on how to register their businesses with CAC and other relevant institutions to start a business.
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