Director General of the Industrial Trust Fund (ITF), Sir Joseph Ari, has linked the unemployment of over 20 million Nigerians to their failure to acquire requisite skills as well as penchant for white collar jobs.
Ani, who expressed this view at the 1st National Skills Summit held in Abuja yesterday, said that to reduce the growing number of the employed in the country, the mindset and the perception that hands-on skills are for a certain group of Nigerians has to change.
According to human resource development expert, there is a disconnection between the schools and the needs of the industries, leading to a situation where it is not uncommon to hear employers lament the un-employability of graduates of our tertiary institutions.
The ITF boss said there is absence of a reliable Labour Market Information (LMI) that would have guided Nigerians in career choices and institutions of learning on industry needs.
“Consequently, institutions of learning and human capacity development institutions work on a whim, in the dark and without any form of guidance. The effect of this is that institutions train potential workers in skills that are not needed by the labour market,” he said.
The Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Mariam Yalwaji Katagum, said rising unemployment has accentuated the rising rate of insecurity in the country.
Katagum said to address the insecurity challenges, Nigeria will first of all have to create jobs by equipping Nigerians with skills while also striving to align the educational system to the current needs of the country by making skills acquisition and entrepreneurship training the focal point.
“Skills acquisition has become the currency of countries desirous of development in the 21st century. The T-BRICS nations – Turkey, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – provide ready examples,” the minister said.
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