NEPAD BUSINESS GROUP NIGERIA (NBGN) GRADUATESâ€™ EMPLOYABILITY IMPROVEMENT & DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE (GEIDI)
The rate of young people in unemployment is a serious problem in Nigeria.
The total unemployment rate is reported to be 10.8 percent with the youth unemployment rates exceeding the adult unemployment rates. Of greater (and graver) consequences of rising youth unemployment is the youthâ€™s disposition to social instability, increased drug abuse and crime.
Many become handy tools in the hands of recruiting criminal gangs â€“ armed robbers, thugs, hired killers, militants, and miscreants.
However, the youths are worldwide recognized as the most active segment of the population and expectedly, the oil that lubricates the engine of economic growth.
In advanced countries of the world, their celebrated growth had largely been credited to the economically-active youths.
It has been discovered that, apart from the qualifications that graduates possess, there are other attributes (non academic skill requirements) which employers of labor emphasize. These attributes include analytical skills, good communication skills, good personal and social skills, technical, vocational and managerial skills among others. In essence, employers of labor are not only interested in those having higher education but also practical skills appropriate for job fulfillment.It has also been established beyond doubt that Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) hold the key to real economic growth in all countries notably developing countries. Despite the delusion of prosperity due to the presence and exploration of oil and gas over the years, MSMEs still dominate the economy especially agriculture, distributive trade, commerce and many professional services.Most firms in developing countries are MSMEs with a high percentage of total employment. However, MSMEs have been limited in Nigeria and other developing economies by harsh operating environment and non formal natures of most of the operators.Therefore, for Nigeria to solve the threat of her huge unemployment problem particularly among her teeming young graduates, attention must be given to retraining of the unemployed graduates in technical and entrepreneurial skills that will enhance their competition in the labor market. This will equally enable them to be self employers and consequently employers of labor.
The objectives of GEIDI include:
To fill in the gap of technical, entrepreneurial and other practical skills lacking in Nigerian graduates;
Enhancement of the technical and entrepreneurial capacities of unemployed Nigeria graduates for paid and self-employment for wealth creation and socio-economic development;
To reduce the level of unemployment in the country and its associated negative socio vices;
To serve as an avenue for reliable human resources for organizations;
To sensitize similar organizations on the need to partner with the government to reduce unemployment, this is a great threat to the nation and her development.
The results expected include the following:
More young Nigerian graduates will be engaged meaningfully to contribute to the development of their fatherland;
Increased in the capacity of the partner production/services based participating organization and resultant increased in productivity;
Reduction in the resultant negative socio-economic vices of unemployment;
Increase in the number of MSMEs and the resultant employment creation;
Enhanced managerial abilities and financial literacy of these entrepreneurs for loan accessibility and viability;
Enhanced relationship among partners for socio-economic growth of Nigeria.
The NBGN GEIDI adopts a holistic approach to solve the problem of unemployment of youth unemployment. We studied other similar efforts in the past for inputs and lessons to prevent failures. Most efforts in the past were concerned with training of the unemployed youths thereby leaving them in a worse state after the program.
The GEIDI is different as it encompasses the vocational & entrepreneurial training, facilitation of the setting up of the graduated trainees as well as monitoring and evaluation of the young entrepreneurs in his or her businesses in the first 6 months or 1 year to assist in solving the usual business teething problems.
In this regard, NBGN partners with three major organizations: Nigeria Opportunities Industrialisation Centres (NOIC), Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and Bank Of Industry Limited (BOI).
NOIC is responsible for the vocational/technical training; SMEDAN, the entrepreneurial training and BOI will support qualified graduates of the scheme with suitable loan facilities to set up in their chosen vocations.
The six months training also involves On the Job Training in relevant industries and John Holt Plc and Honeywell Flour Mill Plc are already with us in this respect.
The first edition of NBGN GEIDI trained 50 trainees who were selected through a keen, free and fair process. Advertisement was placed in a national daily and trainees subsequently emerged from interview processes.
The courses offered in the first edition are: Refrigeration & Air Conditioning; Computer Hardware Maintenance; Hotel & Catering Management; Electrical Installation; Automotive Mechanics and Painting & House Decoration.
The training was free to participants. They are however responsible for transportation and other logistics. The edition ran from September, 2014 till March, 2015. 42 trainees successfully completed the training and were awarded certificates of completion in a photo session with NBGN Directors.
Our main challenge is the inability to secure grants or suitable loan facilities for graduates of the scheme to set up in their chosen trades/vocations. We are equally faced with lack of adequate financial and technical support. We initially set out to support the trainees with stipends to offset part of their logistics. We could not do that in the first edition due to financial related constraints.
Furthermore, we were unable to get enough slots for the trainees to undergo the two months On the Job Training (OJT) in this edition. We equally need more companies to collaborate with us with respect to openings for the trainees to undergo the On the Job Training.
NBGN GEIDI 2ND EDITION
We are already preparing for the 2nd edition of NBGN GEIDI. NBGN therefore appeals to individual, organizations (government and non government), developmental partners and other stakeholders to support NBGN in this laudable effort to reduce the scourge of unemployment and its socio-economic consequences. This will enable us to achieve better the dream of making the project bigger and more impactful in subsequent edition. Fighting unemployment particularly among youths is a war we must all work together to fight for the future of our dear nation. We specifically need partners in the following areas among others:
Provision of grants or suitable loan facilities to set up graduates of the scheme in their chosen trades/vocations;
Slots from relevant companies for the two months On the Job Training (OJT) exercise;
Financial assistance to sustain the scheme and as well extend other assistances to the participants.
Other technical assistance (entrepreneurial training, etc).
Interested partners or collaborators can reach the NEPAD Business Group Nigeria via email ( firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com) or phone (08055112700, 08037881178, 01-2710478)