Mrs Omolara Aromolaran, Chief Executive Officer, Crown Natures, a garment manufacturing company, on Wednesday urged youths to think of ways to create jobs for themselves, instead of waiting for government’s ready-made jobs.
Aromolaran gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
She lamented the rate of unemployment and job loss among the youths, which was reported to be on the increase of 13.3 per cent, according to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics.
“Youth empowerment is key to national development, and we have to start laying down systems now, if we want the future of this nation to be better.
“The youths represent up to 60 per cent of the country’s population; 64 million are unemployed or underemployed, and 500,000 young school leavers of primary school level are walking aimlessly on the streets with no hope of further education.
“In the same nation, we produce what we don’t consume, and consume what we don’t produce, because 80 per cent of what we eat, wear, and use industrially and domestically are imported.
“This is a time to look inwards to think of innovative ways to create jobs, and imagine if 100,000 people take up the challenge, within six months, they can employ three more people and the chain of unemployment reduces.
“People should stop waiting for the government to create jobs; instead, look into opportunities like garment or clothing, food and agriculture,” she said.
Aromolaran said she currently employs over 100 people who run various shifts, yet, she is not able to meet up with her installed production capacity, which is 300 people per shift.
The manufacturer harped on the essence of proper training in areas of choice, to equip graduates to be fit for the innovative careers or businesses they wish to set up.
She said that she would offer immediate employment to 25 students from the set of graduating students of garment manufacturing at the AGOA-NEPC Centre.
According to her, up to 500,000 instant jobs can be created in the food and clothing value chain if more people create innovative ideas that would provide value in these sub-sectors.
Aromolaran, however, appealed to the government to provide a more enabling environment to existing manufacturers in order to support its effort at job creation and economic diversification.
She said that the high importation of ready-made clothing items remained a challenge to operators like her in the textile sub-sector. (NAN)