Nigeria has about 90 million unemployed youths and graduates, National Board for Technical Education, NBTE, Executive Secretary, Professor Idris Muhammad Bugaje, has said.
According to him, there are 10 million out-of-school children, the majority of whom are Almajiris in the country.
Speaking at the Annual General Meeting of the Science and Technology Forum, STF, held in Kaduna, Bugaje said the high rate of unemployment was largely responsible for the security challenges bedeviling the country.
He however said that the only solution to address the unemployment rate is for the government to ensure that the unemployed youths acquire skills.
He said out of the number of unemployed youths, many obtained their degrees and diplomas from various tertiary institutions in the country but are roaming streets without jobs to do.
“As we speak, the unemployment rates in the country are alarming because there is about 90 million unemployed youths in the country and the majority of them obtained their degrees but without jobs.
“Bangladesh supplies its youths with skills to countries like Saudi Arabia and others as artisans. At the end, they get foreign currency to take home. So why can’t we train our youth in skills acquisition?
“This is why we are mandating our tertiary institutions to ensure they offer training in Technical Vocational Education Training, TVET, because we are hoping that by next year, we will not offer accreditation to any course without the institutions offering courses on TVET,” he said.
Speaking on a group of unemployed youths springing up in Kano, he said, “They are called the anarchists. They say they have been abandoned by the government and therefore they would be destroying all government installations they come across. It is a small group for now, but we need to take action now before the group grows and becomes another serious security threat to the country.”
The NBTE boss however urged the Federal Government to ensure that skill acquisition courses are given priority in tertiary institutions as a solution to the rate of unemployment in the country.
In his remark, STF outgoing president, Professor Ibrahim Mohammed-Dabo, said the forum was established 20 years ago by patriotic Nigerian scientists and engineers of northern extraction to promote science and technology for the development of the northern region.