Awka – Governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, on Tuesday, said government at all levels must commit to reducing unemployment to be able to check rising insecurity in Nigeria.
Okowa made the call when he received participants of Course 44 of Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, at Government House, Asaba.
The theme of the Course 44 of Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, is “Enhancing National Security Through Socio-economic Development.”
According to Okowa, the theme of the year’s study, was very apt considering the harm done to the economy by insecurity and poverty across the country.
He said several factors account for insecurity but when the nation has growing unemployment in the society, where people are not able to fend for themselves nor have a determined future, the likelihood of them giving in to crime becomes very high.
“Realising this, every government and sub- national government, including the local governments, must try to work hard to pull people out of unemployment and poverty.
“Unfortunately as a nation, we have a population that is growing too much, growing much more than the economy of the nation.
“At the moment, we are very worried about the unemployment rate in the country. It is much higher even among the youth.
“We must ensure that we begin to design policies and programmes that would continually engage our youths,” he said, adding that his administration realised this early and commenced job creation and entrepreneurship programmes for the youths.
Okowa revealed that no fewer than 100,000 youths have benefited directly and indirectly from the programmes in the past six years.
He noted that the state government engaged a lot of our youths through working on the various infrastructural developments being carried out in the state such as roads, schools and entrepreneurship programmes.
“This has helped us to build peace across the state and the entrepreneurial development across the state is growing now.
“Through the Job and Wealth Creation Office, we have raised several thousands of youths as entrepreneurs since we came in in 2015.
“We have also been training a lot of our female youths between the ages of 18years and 30 years through the girl-child entrepreneurship programme. They are fully empowered and monitored and most of them are doing very well.
“We did all these because we have come to realise that a lot of these businesses over time, would come to take other youths out of poverty.
“We have gained a lot of peace in our state because the youths have come to see how responsible the government has been to them.
“Some of the youths are also in government as appointees and are helping to provide useful Information to security agencies in order to curb insecurity,” he explained.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Air Commodore Chidiebere Obiabaka, had told the governor that they were in Delta on a study tour of the state, adding that the knowledge gained would enhance their research work.
He lauded Okowa for his outstanding accomplishments in the development of the state in the past six years.