Friday, February 23, 2024

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JCI Nigeria set to deepen partnership with govt, corporate bodies on youth employment, entrepreneurship

The Junior Chambers International, JCI, Nigeria has rolled out measures to tackle youth unemployment and promote entrepreneurship through deepened partnerships with the government and corporate institutions.

The youth leadership organization also announced the opening for nominations for the 2024 edition of Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP) Awards.

While addressing journalists on the outlined activities for 2024 at the National Secretariat of the organization in Lagos, JCI Nigeria President, JCIN Amb. Sandra Efemuaye noted that her team is set to build on the efforts of past administrations to ensure that Nigerian youths become better equipped and can compete with their counterparts globally.

L-R: Executive Vice President, South-South/South-East, Elochukwu Umeohana; Chairperson TOYP/IYD, Blessing Eson; 2024 National President, JCIN Amb. Sandra Ekene Efemuaye; Executive Secretary, JCI Senator Adeyemo Adeonipekun and Executive Vice President North-East, Goodness Morakinyo during the press conference of JCI Nigeria held at the national secretariat of the organization in Lagos. Pix: JCIN

“For 2024, we are looking at working closely with the government and corporate institutions across the country to tackle societal problems facing Nigerian youth. For instance, with over 64 percent of our youths unemployed, as a youth-based organization, we are not folding our hands.

“We have different initiatives launched over the years to address these challenges. We have the SkillHub for Nigerian youths to develop 1000 soft skills, free and previously accessible only to JCI members. However, this year, we are opening this opportunity to more young Nigerians.

“Other initiatives to support and encourage the youths are the Creative Young Entrepreneur Awards, coming in April in Akwa Ibom state. This award, alongside the TOYP Awards, is set to identify youths making meaningful impacts in their local communities. There is also the mentorship program, which saw 40 youths mentored in various capacities and skills. This year we are looking at empowering more Nigerian youths.”

Regarding specific programs for this year, the JCI Nigeria President reiterated: “We are not launching any signature project. Rather, we are focused on consolidating the efforts of past administrations by expanding the capacities of launched projects with this mandate – sustainable structure, engagement, and efficiency.

“Again, while we have acknowledged our partners, we believe partnerships with the government, especially the Ministry of Youth and Social Development; the Ministry of Education, NGOs, and corporate entities, among others, will be a boost in inspiring and empowering youths,” Efemuaye added.

The chairperson for the Ten Young Persons Outstanding Award, 2024, Blessing Esoe, explained the modalities for the award.

“The Ten Outstanding Young Persons of Nigeria Awards are for young persons aged between 18 to 40, who have done extraordinary things, excelled in their fields, and have been able to transform their lives individually and their communities at large. Nominations are open until February 12 and are free and open to candidates from all 36 states of the country.

In a related development, the president called on Nigerian youths to embrace opportunities in entrepreneurship, as means to fight unemployment in the year 2024.

Efemuaye also spoke during the Southwest Area Council of Presidents (ACOPS) meeting of the organization held in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State.

Efemuaye disclosed that statistics have already shown that about 64% of Nigerian youths are unemployed, saying that rather than waiting for jobs that are not there, they should embrace entrepreneurial skills that would in turn make them creators of jobs and wealth.

She said, “as a foremost leadership development organization for the youths, we are well aware that the major challenge facing the country is unemployment, and statistics have shown that the youth account for about 64% of this challenge.

“While we agreed that government has a role to play in solving this problem, we also believe that the youths have a bigger role to play because our mindset training in JCI is tailored towards ‘what can I also do or contribute’ to make the society better.

“So, we are saying that in this year 2024, the Nigerian youths should embrace entrepreneurial skills, they should try to see what they could do on their own to stay off pursuing the jobs that are not there.

“Last year, we gave our members access to over 1,200 soft skills. We equally provided them with mentorship so that the mistakes others have made, they won’t make it. This is the way to go to reduce the burden of unemployment. JCI will be doing a lot in this regard this new year.

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