Governments at all levels in Nigeria have been called upon to give priority attention to job creation and youth empowerment in order to reduce social vices and stem the tide of illegal migration among the youths to other countries.
The General Overseer, Ark of Testimony Redemption Ministries, Asaba, Pastor Azuka Onyebo, made the call in a chat with our correspondent in Asaba.
He decried the high rate of youth unemployment in the country, noting that the ugly situation has increased the rate of kidnapping, armed robbery, human trafficking, illegal migration and other social vices among the youths.
He said that youths are the life wire of any nation and as such their welfare should be of utmost concern by the three tiers of government for peace and accelerated development of the country.
His words, “the idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Youths are the leaders of tomorrow. They should therefore be empowered through employment, skills acquisition training or financial assistance to enable them establish their own businesses and improve their lots.”
He decried the incessant attacks and killings across the country by the Fulani Herdsmen and charged the Federal Government to be sincere and tackle the issue head on, saying that establishing cattle colonies would not solve the problem but rather worsen the situation.
Pastor Onyebo commended the Delta State governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa for his youth empowerment and job creation programme via the Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP) and Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurship Programme (YAGEP), saying that the programmes have not only taken thousands of youths out the streets but have also made them self-reliant and employers of labour.
While also applauding the Delta State government for the hospitality, show of love and care for the Libya returnees, he disclosed that out of compassion, he is currently accommodating no fewer 38 Libya returnees who preferred to stay back in Asaba after receiving stipends from the state government in his church.
To this end, he appealed to the Delta State Government, corporate organizations and public-spirited individuals to assist him in rehabilitating the returnees and enroll them in various skills acquisition training programmes to complement state government’s efforts in that regard.
According to him, government alone cannot meet the needs of the Libya returnees, saying that as an apostle of humanitarian services, he was moved to assist the returnees to start a new life and engage in meaningful ventures for a better tomorrow.
He called for fervent prayers for peace and unity of Nigeria, saying that all hands should be on deck to move Nigeria forward.