Raymond Ozoji, Awka
A non-governmental organization specialised in the discovery and nurture of raw talents to zenith in all spheres of human endeavour has taken a bold and courageous step to dig deep into the remote reason why youths in Anambra state seem to lack mentorship as well as the requisite craftmanship to catapult them into sustainable financial independence amidst non-existent white collar jobs and acute unemployment situation leading to value erosion, moral decadence as well as all forms of negative vices.
The organization christened Crafts Create Jobs Development Initiative (CCJDI) whose goal is to emancipate youths from poverty and disillusionment as well as profer lasting solutions on how youngsters could develop themselves through skill acquisitions and mentorships, stormed Anambra state to address crafts technological gaps in the state, with the sole aim of imparting as well as teaching youths the rudiments and importance of crafts technology for self-sustenance. This is to enable them to become job creators as well as contribute their token to the growth of the state and national economy respectively.
The organization therefore is currently organising what it termed 2019 BOOT CAMP in Anambra state. The one week skills development programme holding at the Federal Government Technical College Awka seeks to train and empower over one thousand youths shortlisted from the three senatorial zones of the state. The youths however would be taught various skills by vocational training experts ranging from welding and fabrication, information and communications technology, energy, building, fashion, confectioneries and a host of other crafts.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Crafts Create Jobs Development Initiative, Dr. Harry Oranezi, said during the press conference heralding the training programme that the organization had come to Anambra state to galvanise youths into self-discovery through the exploration and exploitation of their natural proclivities and potentials for certain crafts. He said the organization also sought to dissuade youths from the idea of Get Rich Quick Syndrome as well as address mentorship gaps through career and motivational talks in the course of the training sessions. Oranezi therefore emphasized that “there is no euphemism which can obscure the dire economic condition of our country. The unemployment rate is above 18 per cent, 17.6 per cent rate in Anambra which grew from 15.7 per cent at 2017 and when you consider underemployment the situation becomes more severe. Minimum wage is N30,000 with inflation at 11.25 %, the minimum wage is nothing but tissue paper.”
Although he observed that considering the current status quo, entrepreneurship had been the next veritable alternative, he expressed worry that government had made no strenuous efforts to promote financial independence through entrepreneurial brilliance and innovation, create opposite platform to impact requisite skills in youths who need it to drive the nation’s economy. He however maintained that Crafts Create Jobs Development Initiative is a platform designed to avail youngsters ample opportunities to acquire hands-on skills as the organization believes in the ethos, Catch Them Young.
According to him, “We shall de-emphasize the issues of getting rich quick syndrome which has led them into Yahoo Yahoo and 419. We intend to create a new set of change agents for the community and the state at large.” He noted that at the end of the trainings, the beneficiaries would continue in the various local government areas under professionals that would certify them worthy of the take-off grants and equipment the organization would empower them with to establish their own entreprises and reduce unemployment rate in the state.
Also, the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the host NGO said the exercise was the first of its kind in the state and that it was intended to take over 1000 teenagers off the streets of Anambra state while guiding their steps so that they wouldn’t fall into the trap the country set for them even as the organization believes that a child who has skills is 50% away to a successful future.
The former chairman of the National Youth Council of Nigeria ( NYCN ) Anambra state chapter and the Executive Secretary of Crafts Create Jobs Development Initiative, Comrade Frank Maduka explained that it was of paramount importance to acquire skills in certain crafts to emancipate oneself from the mirage of non-existent job vacancies in the country. He accused government at all levels of not taking proactive measures to curb the menace of unemployment . He said one of the reasons of the skills development programme was to show genuine interest towards the upbringing of young persons especially as it concerns channeling their thought processes and energy towards meaningful ventures.
Maduka further disclosed that the nation lacked mentorship and genuine concern for the building of successors that would undertake leadership positions as well as drive the nation’s economy with requisite expertise and cognate experience. He however believes that qualitative empowerment and youth empowerment programmes must stand on the bedrock of effective educational system adding that government only applied cosmetics to youth development schemes. According to him, the continuous creation of civil service jobs and other white collar jobs does not urgur well for the nation’s economy because institutions are producing graduates whose minds have been tailored towards becoming clerical officers and civil servants .
He however suggested that time had come to ignite policies that would engender industrial revolution stressing that if the nation must grow and advance its creative economy, there must be a way to marry craft with formal education. He was cognisant though that those who have professional craftsmanship are bereft of formal education to transform their small shops into big industries while those who possess the formal education do not have the craft and technical know-how to break-even in their respective endeavours. To this end therefore, the Executive Secretary of the Crafts Create Jobs Development Initiative stressed that the organization had come to fill the vacuum created through overdependence on white collar jobs and why it is necessary to acquire skills in certain crafts for entrepreneurial purposes, wealth and job creation in Anambra state and the nation at large.