Uzochukwu Onyebinama, Professor of Agricultural Economics at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia state has called upon the Federal Government to use agriculture as a weapon to tackle youth unemployment, citing the Umunwaoha Renaissance Forum (URF) as a model which can be imitated.
Also urging the creation of grain production centres around the country; Onyebinama, who has previously served as the chairman of the university’s Academic Staff Union of Universities chapter, made this statement during a pre-inauguration lecture.
He said that developed nations of the world have taken the initiative, thereby curbing their problems of unemployment while Nigeria continues down the “scourging” path.
“Advanced nations took such examples. We as a country have failed to exploit that advantage, that is why youth unemployment has been a scourge.’’
Speaking on the topic, “Diversifying Nigeria’s Economy, Political, Security and Sensitive Issues on Youth Employment’’, he praised the URF’s initiative, formed by Dr. Hycient Ugorji.
He said the topic of the lecture was very important in context of the growing rates of unemployment and under-employment.
While encouraging entrepreneurship and calling on the youths to be risk-takers, he advised the government to create an enabling environment which allows for the growth of self-maintained businesses as a way to empower the youth demographic.
He also vouched to provide services of writing bankable proposals for any youth willing to have them. According to him, “You need to have bankable, repayable and enough profit, principal and interest. I offer to help any youth to produce a bankable proposal.’’
Samuel Odili Eremba, President of the forum, said that the URF was put together so as to help combat unemployment in the vicinity, noting the increasingly disturbing rate of youths out of jobs.