Job creation will remain in the forefront of the All Progressives Congress-led government’s agenda for youths, President Muhammadu Buhari has assured.
The president noted that it was only through job creation that government could achieve its objectives of improved security and poverty alleviation.
Mr. Buhari stated this on Saturday as the Special Guest of Honour at the 2nd Convocation ceremony of the Kaduna State University in Kaduna.
The president, who was conferred with an honourary doctorate degree of letters by the University, pledged to throw the weight of his administration behind genuine efforts at job creation just as he hinted that his administration would embark on the reorientation of Nigerian youths towards an entrepreneurial mindset.
According to him, his administration will ensure that youths in the country are gainfully employed and youth restiveness curtailed.
“One of the focal points of this administration is job creation. Job creation will help in the achievement of other objectives of the government such as poverty reduction and security which are some of the challenges this administration is confronted with.
“Insecurity cannot be divorced from unemployment and poverty because an idle mind, they say, is the devil’s workshop.
“With declining internally generated revenue and over dependence on the equally declining oil revenues, there is need to seek other ways of diversifying the economy so as to boost revenue.
“One of the ways we can achieve this is through the reorientation of our youths towards an entrepreneurial mindset.
“We must therefore promote and enhance the teaching and learning of entrepreneurial skills in all schools and tertiary institutions, thereby exposing our youths to the basics and rudiments of starting and sustaining their own businesses”, he said.
President Buhari stated that to encourage and assist Nigerian youths to move from being job seekers to job creators, his administration would sustain and improve ongoing job creation programmes of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Such programmes, he said, included the provision of start-up loans at concessionary rates by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), the Bank of Industry (BoI), the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) and other Federal agencies.
Mr. Buhari also enjoined the Nigerian private sector to also do more to support government’s efforts to boost youth entrepreneurship and the development of micro, small and medium scale enterprises in the country. (NAN)