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Int’L Youth Day: NLC Urges FG To Tackle Unemployment

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called on the Federal Government to urgently prioritise youth unemployment.

President of the NLC, Mr Joe Ajaero made the call in an official statement commemorating the 2023 International Youth Day on Friday.

This annual event, observed on August 12th, is centered on the theme “Intergenerational Solidarity: Building a World for All Generations”.

Ajaero expressed concern over the escalating unemployment rate in Nigeria, citing recent estimations by KPMG that indicated unemployment had surpassed the critical threshold of 40 percent.

He stressed that the adverse impact of rising fuel prices and increased living costs, were disproportionately affecting young Nigerians.

“This is constraining the youth especially from poor background from accessing quality education”, he stated.

“In solidarity with the young people in Nigeria, we therefore call on the government to prioritise youth employment by providing structured support for local manufacturing, the informal economy and other value-added economic activities, including strengthening technical and vocational education on a massive scale at all levels of government”.

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The NLC further urged the strengthening of technical and vocational education on a significant scale across all levels of government, through collaborative efforts with the private sector and development partners.

Ajaero underscored the necessity for the federal government to continuously explore avenues for nurturing the creative talents and productive capabilities of the nation’s youth, thus propelling accelerated national development.

He affirmed the NLC’s unwavering commitment to addressing the challenges faced by young people, recognising their pivotal role in shaping the future of trade unions and nation-building.

Reflecting on the 2023 theme for the occasion, Ajaero affirmed its alignment with the principles and aspirations of the NLC, emphasising equality, shared prosperity, and inclusiveness.

He stated that the International Youth Day provided a valuable opportunity for Nigeria to critically evaluate matters concerning the development and well-being of its youth population.

In December 2009, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 64/134, designating August 12 every year as the International Year of Youth.

This initiative called on governments, civil society, and individuals globally to support local and international activities commemorating the event.

The concept of International Youth Day was initially proposed in 1991 by young individuals gathered in Vienna, Austria, during the inaugural session of the World Youth Forum of the United Nations System.

The Forum recommended the establishment of International Youth Day for purposes of fundraising and promotion, aiming to support the United Nations Youth Fund in collaboration with youth organizations.

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