Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The lawmaker representing Nnewi-North state constituency in the 7th legislature of Anambra state, Hon. Chukwunonso Smart Okafor, has stressed the need for more priority attention to be placed on youth development.
Okafor believes that youths could develop their innate potentials and become entrepreneurs and employers of labour, if they have access to mentorship programmes and the right atmosphere to pursue their aspirations.
The lawmaker who spoke with our correspondent in his office at the state assembly complex Awka on Thursday about a bill he sponsored which seeks the establishment of a Youth Development Commission in Anambra state, noted that such commission was vital because it would help to address pressing issues about youths specifically.
Okafor said, “If we can inculcate entrepreneurship spirit in our young people and help them to become entrepreneurial, it would help to close the job gap that we have. The issue of youth unemployment will reduce drastically.
“Our universities are churning out millions of graduates on annual basis and we have very minimal level of job openings for these graduates.
“So I believe if we see entrepreneurship as a core issue in our society and also try to educate and empower our young people with start-ups as well as mentorship and coaching that they need to prosper, they will also help in job and wealth creation.”
He pointed out that apart from Nnewi-North state constituency, he represents the youth constituency and that he is well-grounded with the problems of youths in the state, having been a student union president and also a former state chairman of the national youth council of Nigeria.
He further noted that his bill, Anambra State Youth Development and Empowerment Commission, when passed into law, would engender an empowered youth populace and that the commission would provide veritable platform for international donor agencies to partner the state government in the realm of youth development.
He said that the bill has scaled through first and second reading and currently awaiting third reading and passage into law, noting that the bill has come to address challenges facing youths even as he admonished young people to endeavour to work hard legitimately to earn a living and not to scam a living.