Abuja - Minister of Youth Development, Inuwa Abdul-Kadir, on Sunday in Abuja expressed regret that many youths sold equipment given to them as start-up packages when they graduate from government-sponsored vocational training.
"Some sell the equipment and some of the machinery on the graduation day and right outside the gate of the graduation centre,’’ the minister told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He said that it was unfortunate that some of the youths sold their start-up equipment so as to make quick money because they did not appreciate what had been given to them and what they could achieve with the knowledge and tools they had acquired.
The minister said the development was attributable to the fact that many Nigerian youths today lacked proper values and leadership qualities.
He said the development led the ministry to taking the decision to first imbibe good values and leadership qualities in Nigerian youths when they were being given training in skills.
"This is essential if we are to reduce unemployment and ensure that our young people have something doing that can benefit them and the nation,’’ he said.
The minister observed that governments at all levels had been spending money into youth initiatives and development in form of informal skills training, but noted that this had not made the desired impact.
Abdul-Kadir stressed that the desired impact had not been achieved because the people being trained did not have the correct mindset and orientation to make good use of the trainings received.
"I focused on one important issue of youth empowerment, which is very critical in ensuring that we reduce the number of the unemployed and ensure that our young people have something doing.
"But along the line I discovered one critical issue about mindset and orientation.
"The problem is that our young people do lack the basic training in leadership and values.
"They don’t have value orientation, which we’ll make sure we introduce as a model, specifically for leadership training and good citizenship.
"This we discovered is very important and critical and it becomes the introductory programme in each programme we are going to have.”
Abdul-Kadir said youths must be taught leadership skills at the beginning of skills acquisition programmes in order to encourage them to appreciate the benefits of their training and the possibility of becoming employers of labour.
"They do not appreciate what they are going into; they have a mindset to get things easily there and then.
"When we started this programme, we changed the mindset of the young people to let them know that it’s no longer the case that you have to get easy money and spend it.
"You have to have a programme, you have to have leadership skills, even in the business you are setting up you must have some managerial etiquette.
"And some sort of consciousness that you don’t need to have a formal job, that somebody must employee you; you should even aspire to be an employer.’’
You must have some managerial ethics and some sort of consciousness that really you don’t need to have a formal job, or that somebody must employ you, you should even aspire to be an employer.
Abdul-Kadir also told NAN that the ministry packaged the training of 600 youths in 2012 for agriculture business and were given grants with which to start their own b businesses.
He acknowledged the fact that 600 youths out of millions of them in Nigeria seemed insignificant but explained that if that small group adopted the ideals of leadership training they could create businesses and become employers of labour.
"Even the smallest business can lead to economical and social gains.
"We intend to have collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the Bank of Agriculture and other development banks to create an environment to support young people in agriculture.’’
Abdul-Kadir said that youth success in agriculture would translate into national development in so many other aspects because it would reduce unemployment, boost food production, lower the cost of living and minimise food insecurity.
"By the time you boost agricultural production, exports to several countries would add to national income.