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My job creation agenda will target almajiri kids, underprivileged youths -Atiku

Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says his development agenda for job creation will target under...



Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says his development agenda for job creation will target underprivileged youths and almajiri children.

 

Atiku spoke on Saturday at the Arewa townhall policy dialogue in Kaduna.

 

While explaining how his five-point development agenda will support the north, he said the high levels of unemployment and under-employment in Nigeria pose serious development challenges.

 

He added that the increasingly large pool of youths who are unemployed and underemployed in urban areas are at risk of being entangled in various forms of violence and misconduct.

 

 “Creating jobs and economic opportunities for these people will be vital both for reducing the ease of recruitment for violent groups and reducing underlying grievances that feed conflicts,” he said.

 

“Our development agenda includes the implementation of a robust job creation and entrepreneurship development programmes that will target the youth. It is designed to target specific population groups, that is, economically marginalised demographics, which are not served by the typical market systems.

 

“In the northern states this will include the almajirai and other under-privileged youth who have had no opportunity to acquire western-style education.

 

 “Our job creation programme shall feature unique approaches to skills training. It will be a dual system focusing on both the informal apprenticeship system and the formal training system through ‘one-stop-shop’ styled community skills development centres (COSDECs) with a work experience learning component.

 

“In both systems, training will be based on the national occupational standards of the national skills qualification framework (NSQF), and assessment of the trainees will be competency-based. 

 

“The programme will seek to create up to three million direct employment opportunities for economically-marginalised young people every year. This will contribute significantly to our goal of lifting millions of Nigerians out of poverty. It will also represent significant implication for social cohesion and national security.”

 

The PDP presidential candidate also said poverty reduction will be the centre-piece of his economic development agenda.

 

He added that his poverty reduction strategy will include enhancing micro enterprises’ access to credit and provision of affordable quality education from primary up to the secondary level.

 

“This is strategic because of the nexus between education and poverty. The majority of the poor in northern Nigeria are educated at or below the primary school level,” he said. 

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