Yemi Adedeji, Abuja
The Association of Skilled and Vocational Artisans of Nigeria (ASVAN) has proposed ‘Project Fund’ intervention programme which would focus exclusively on prospective micro entrepreneurs and unemployed graduates to tackle unemployment.
Nigeria currently has unemployment rate estimated at 20 percent.
It said that the programme was conceived to address the problems of unemployment and underemployment among the youths, as well as to promote self employment of others, while also creating wealth and minimise rural to urban migration.
Everest Obijuru, the President of the Association disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja when he led a team to pay a courtesy call to Ogbonnaya Onu, the Minister of Science and Technology.
He said ASVAN was established not only for poverty eradication but for investment and wealth creation for the members.
Obijuru said it was based on this that Nigerian artisans took the initiative to organise themselves in a national body to position her above government project and to act as a catalyst enterprises so as to realise the objectives of government’s intervention projects on the micro enterprises.
His words: “Unemployment in Nigeria is currently at about 20% and growing, while the effects of unemployment on the large army of tertiary school leavers yearly unloaded into the labour market is well rehearsed, there is a face of unemployment that is not so celebrated.
“These are the illiterate and unskilled masses of young persons in our rural areas and urban centres, who for obvious reasons are at the butt-end of the unemployment debacle. Their precarious existence thus ensures that they constitute potential threats to society.
“To ensure that this large population segment are not excluded in terms of access to productive livelihood, we seek your intervention in the provision of project fund to equip the target clientele with the entrepreneurship sensitisation leading to acquisition of functional vocational skills for engagement in micro enterprise activities as well as purchase of take-off tools and machines for the young artisans.”
The President stressed that the programme would curtail reduction of crimes, youth restiveness and other societal ills.
He therefore sought the minister’s help on the proposed three days summit of the association which he said would gulp N500 million. He said 10,000 delegates from 774 local government would take part.
Responding, the minister said that skilled and vocational artisans are very critical to infrastructural revolution, sweeping the country such as rail and road construction and other massive projects being embarked upon by the federal government.
He promised to support the organization to realise its goals of ensuring the execution of growth and support projects for the empowerment of skills and vocational artisans.