Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu presenting an award to Dr. Obiora Okonkwo at the conference
An airline operator Dr. Obiora Okonkwo, has called for the adoption of the Igbo apprenticeship system by both state and Federal governments to reduce to the barest youth unemployment in the country.
He made the call at the 2022 edition of the All Market Conference, with the theme: ‘Development and Sustainability of the Nation’s Economy’ organised by the NdigboAmaka Progressive Traders Association in Lagos.
According to him, unemployment has become the biggest contributor to insecurity across the country adding that for government to effectively tackle the situation, it must begin to think outside the box to see other ways of addressing the problem.
Dr. Obiora Okonkwo said, over the years, the Igbo apprenticeship scheme, had proven to be a success among the people in the East and has helped in wealth creation.
He stated that, government can replicate this across the country providing the needed guarantees for start up funds, adding that apprenticeship scheme has the capacity to reduce the number of unemployed youths and engage them meaningfully.
According to him, the federal and state governments have the capacity to enter into agreements with traders and other tradesmen to provide tutelage to youths and reduce unemployment.
“I call on governments across Nigeria to explore the benefits of the apprenticeship system practiced by the Igbo people and use it to address youth unemployment and fight criminality”.
Dr. Okonkwo also called on traders and tradesmen across the country to open new avenues of partnership with governments make the scheme work.
“By agreeing to work with government to train our youths in trades and skills, you would be aiding the process of ending unemployment in the country. My idea is that while you train our youths over some incentives, government can guarantee to provide start up funds to enable the apprentices become self-employed”.
The airline operator who in 2020 instituted a research at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Business School into how to revitalise the Igbo apprenticeship scheme and reposition it to become the new model in tackling unemployment, said the report of the study, which was publicly presented in October 2021, should form part of working and policy document of government on addressing unemployment in the country.
A representative from the Lagos State Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs, Mrs. Kikelomo Sanya Olu also in her key note address said, the conference is aimed at providing the enabling environment for traders in the state.
She said, the state government is poised to ensuring seamless movement of goods with the provision of good roads and security as well as policies that would encourage people to do business in a cosmopolitan city like Lagos.
“One of the way to boost economic growth and development in Lagos state is to ensure that market management in a mega city like ours carefully structured with policies that engender the state up and doing”.
Highlights of the event was the presentation of award to Dr. Obiora Okonkwo and the unveiling of the new logo of the market Association in Lagos.