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Youth unemployment has remained on steady increase in the Niger Delta and it is a dangerous trend that can cause increase in crimes in the territory and Nigeria as a whole. I believe that driving youth entrepreneurship will certainly tackle the problem; it will increase creativity and innovation amongst the youth, produce economic renewal, job creation and help fuel the desired growth pattern in the Nigeria. Supporting young entrepreneurs to grow their businesses is very key if we have to positively impact the Niger Delta and environs.
Crime rate recorded so far, is on the increase due to youth unemployment. The jobless youths and matured adults have resorted to look for any means at their disposal to keep engaged including, blindly following corrupt leaders for less than “peanuts”-(considerations), smoking, pick pocketing-petty thieving, snatching of bags, prostituting, gambling, armed robbery, terrorizing residents and more.
For instance, the recent happening in Uvie Local Government Area in Delta State, is one to really bother about; In broad day light, in Orumaro area at Effurun, a group of jobless youths armed with weapons went about terrorizing residents, causing unrest in the community; miss using opportunity in time and resources, to steal from shops, market places, passers-by, transporters and in the process killed innocent souls. Greed, complete disrespect for humanity and existence, no value for life, increased use of substances is really affecting the young stars of today. This is ultimately distracting the level headed youths and causing a stampede on the development; in all its’ ramification; of the local community. There is an urgent need for this to be curbed before it is too late.
Another crisis that led to the killing of a Soldier and the bombing down of a whole community by the military, killing innocent civilians, destroying their houses and property, cannot be forgotten because it has left indelible marks in the hearts of the people.
What is urgently required today is to equip or train youths in a variety of skill acquisitions programs, Entrepreneurship programs, basic/intermediate programs in production and marketing. To equip them with these skills is to enable them produce quality products that can compete with market demand. This can be done in collaboration with institutions, partners and stakeholders.
The Nigerian youths; men and women alike; should have practical entrepreneurial skills that will enable them exploit their innate abilities in starting and running a successful business enterprise. The skills will enable them produce unique goods with unique designs that can compete favorably with counterpart products in Nigeria and globally. A huge number of youths can gain enough skills in quality production and marketing that will enable them produce high quality products matching international market standards. This will create self-reliant people, manufacturers and Industrialists in Nigeria as a whole. The management of small and medium enterprises will become clearer to them, ensuring the sustainability of their businesses to enhance socio-economic development will be appreciated, jobs will most certainly be created and income generation, in itself, will be respected.
The need to help build Soft Skills in youths through training cannot be overemphasized. Soft skills are associated with the Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ) of any person. A person’s Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ) is a cluster of personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, friendliness, and optimism that characterize relationships with other people. Soft skills complement the hard skills. Hard Skills are the occupational requirements of a job and many other activities. Soft Skills are related to feelings, emotions, insights and an ‘inner knowing’ and all these provide an important complement to ‘hard skills’ and IQ. A person’s soft skill (EQ) is an integral part of their individual contribution to the success of an organization. Particularly those organizations dealing with customers (face-to-face). They are generally more successful, if they train their staff to use these skills. Screening or training for personal habits or traits such as dependability and conscientiousness can yield significant return on investment for an organization. For this reason, employers in addition to standard qualifications increasingly seek out soft skills. (Wikipedia definition).
Soft skills cannot be developed only by reading good books but also through very strong disciplined training and thorough regular practice of this trainings. Soft skills are purely of practical nature and they develop more and more with practice. Without these soft skills we cannot be disciplined in our personal and professional lives. The introduction and continuous training of soft skills will play a major role in building of a strong resourceful youth in Nigeria as a whole.