Considering the alarming rate of youth unemployment in the country and its negative effect on the economy, the Universal Learn Direct Academy is empowering youths to solve the endemic housing and infrastructural problems in Nigeria. Funmi Ogundare reports
Youth development and empowerment have been recognised as vital stages in life for building the human capital that allows young people to avoid poverty and live better, and possibly have a more fulfilling life. The human capital formed in youth is thus an important determinant of long-term growth that a nation can invest and rely on.
Hence, making sure that youths are well prepared for their future is enormously important to the course of poverty reduction and growth.
In response to the clarion call by the federal government to develop and empower the Nigerian youths to enable them contribute to the development of the country, the Universal Learn Direct Academia (ULDA) Limited recently held a seminar on self-employment skills in the building and construction industry which featured topics on ‘Study Gap Industry Preparedness’; ‘Emigration Backup Plan’; ‘Self-employment MSME Skills’; and ‘Trading Opportunities for Women in the Construction Industry’.
In his remarks, the visioner of ULDA, Mr. Gbola Oba enjoined the youths to connect their skills to their passion, saying that it is one thing for them to be a graduate of a particular course and it is another thing to be skilled in what they are passionate about.
He cited instances of people who studied courses in the social science and developed skills set in the building and construction industry, adding that they are now abroad and making it big.
“The best way to solve Nigeria’s problems is to empower the youths. They need to create values by connecting their skills to their passion; there is no reason why they should fail. If they must leave the shores of Nigeria for greener pastures, they must be equipped to justify their stay abroad.”
He told THISDAY the importance of empowering youths to solve the endemic housing and infrastructural problems in the country, saying that it will help in curbing the menace of poor quality infrastructure and undignified housing in Nigeria.
“The engagement is not only for those who are in the construction industry that would solve these problems, it may be those who are entrepreneurial with passion that will help us solve the sustainable problems, hence the need for the session to engage youths to drive many plans and inspire them.”
Aside creating employment, Oba said the academia trains social entrepreneurs who will be problem solvers and focus on the opportunities that the building and construction industry present anywhere in the world. “If you want to galvanize the economic activities in any society, just tell people to put in place a building project, which is multidisciplinary bringing together artisanship and professionalism.”
Oba described the youths as the best reflections of the country’s values while expressing concern about the problems inherent in ensuring that youths are equipped with the requisite skills in the country.
“There is a fundamental problem in the system which showed that we have failed. Imagine I had to beg some boys in Mushin to come and empower themselves with skills, even people that are not related to me have been taken to Dubai, they are bricklayers and we have done skills training for them.
“They are now literate, despite the fact that some of them dropped out of secondary schools, they can now read structural engineering joints and electrical drawings. The ones in Dubai now will be taking over structural sites because they know the job. We should encourage people to go for trainings so as to ensure a sustainable development in our society like other countries.”
He expressed concern about the over stratification of education and industry in the country, saying that it inhibits the level of competence one should have.
Source: This Day