Professionals brainstorm on solutions to unemployment

Luqmon Balogun, Lagos

Stakeholders have identified some of the challenges facing the government to actualize the creation of employment in the country.

At a summit in Lagos, south west Nigeria, stakeholders agreed that there are enormous challenges to reduce unemployment.

Speaking to Voice of Nigeria after the plenary session, one of the participants at the summit, an architect, Mrs Ibilola Amao said that the need to address the issue of unemployment in the country becomes imperative as President Buhari-led government must expedite action to find a lasting solution to it.

Amao said that “the number of unemployed youths in the country with series of staggering statistics here and there shows that urgent attention has to be given to create employment and wealth through all the sectors in the country”

Mrs. Amao noted that some of the challenges identified particularly in the area of construction include training to the trainers, employability, deficit skill gap, shortage manpower and enforcement regulations.

She said “lack of structures and line of Command has been one of the major issues affecting the creation of employment and with issues of failure of the Technical and Vocational Educational Training, outdated curriculum and non connection with industry sector skill council among others”.

She however suggests certification for technical and vocational education, alignment of certification with international best practices, focus on regulation and sustaining the informal sector by formalizing it through training and re-skilling.

Mr. Victor Famuyibo is a Director of human resources of a Nigerian brewery; he emphasized the need for government and Small and Medium Enterprises SME bodies to continuously sensitize entrepreneurs on the various opportunities available to access finance and strengthen partnership through stakeholder engagement.

Mr. Famuyibo explains that “most entrepreneurs are not aware of the different opportunities available to access finance in the bank and they must be sensitized on government interventions available within the Employment Trust Fund created by Lagos state to address unemployment and support SME development and employment generation”.

He, however, enjoined the budding entrepreneurs to create a compelling vision that attracts sponsors to finance businesses, establish effective networking and create credible structure for business sustainability.

A banker, Mr. Leye Lawal says government can generate employment through focus on comparative and ecological advantages that is peculiar to each local government and the state at large, stressing the need to explore Agriculture for job creation.

Mr. Lawal who identified lack of integration and partnership among entrepreneurs as a major impediment to access of finance said that “easy access to finance would alleviate capital constraints and facilitate the flow of the new technologies and management practices.”

Mr Kuti George is a financial analyst; he recommends tax breaks or tax concessions for start-ups.

“Government must consider given tax break or tax concession for start-ups so that we can encourage more people start their business without being harassed for tax.”

He canvassed for creation of Research and Development fund targeted at technology research, creation of web portal to access local industries and drive traffic to it and improve roads and power sector to reduce loss of produce due to road accident and poor power supply.