By Chimezie Ozems
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigeria’s unemployment rate is expected to reach 33% in 2022. The nation’s rate of unemployment is among the highest in the world.
The labour market is already saturated and the country’s institution of higher learning churn out graduates some of whom are unemployable. They are victims of poor education.
Unemployment is the root of most of the self-inflicted challenges confronting Nigeria. Insecurity, violent crimes such as armed robbery and kidnapping, cyber crime, cultism among others can be traced to unemployment.
It has been discovered that one of the effective ways of tackling high rate unemployment is skill acquisition. And that is the reason the present Abia State government under the watch of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu placed emphasis on skill acquisition programmes.
The positive impact of the various skill acquisition programmes of the Abia State government are there for all to see.
Unknown to many, the Abia State PDP governorship candidate, Prof. Uche Ikonne had already bought into the idea before the forthcoming 2023 election threw up those that can be referred to emergency philanthropists.
Apart from teaching and research, Prof. Ikonne who can be aptly referred to as one of the doyens of the optometry profession in the country, embarked on what he referred to as community service while as a lecturer.
In an interview with Newswatchplus Prof. Ikonne said: “my community services helped create awareness, helped government improve and implement their policies in communities in my place.
“I keyed into the education for employment policy of the government. I sent a lot of boys from my place for skill acquisition, for training. Some went to Innoson where they learnt mechatronics and things associated with it”.
Prof. Ikonne is fully aware that when a government abandons the youths, it has signed a pact with under-development. if given the mandate, Prof. Ikonne will drastically reduced the high rate unemployment through skill acquisition programmes. He had started doing that even before he ventured into partisan politics.
That is the mark of a leader. A leader thinks about how to improve the welfare of future generations while a politician is only concerned about the 2023 general elections.