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The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has urged the government at all levels to partner with employers and institutions of higher learning to develop mechanisms that address the challenge of unemployment among the youth population.

Chinyere Almona, director-general of LCCI, made the call at the graduation of 300 students in the employability programme of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF). The event was in collaboration with United States Africa Development Foundation (USADF) and Midramo Consulting with the theme ‘Nigeria and Employability Challenge’.

According to Almona, “Employability is mostly defined in terms of employable skill and its importance in a productive workforce,” said Almona, who was represented by Temitope Akintunde, director, the international public sector department of the LCCI.

She stated further that policymakers continue to emphasise the importance of employability skills’ in order to ensure youth are fully equipped to meet the challenges of an increasingly demanding labour market.

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According to Almona, it is important to note the effect of educational policies on shortages of skills and talent in the country. She stated that globally, educational policies take full responsibility for the needs of the country in terms of manpower and skill development.

She said in Nigeria, the educational system faces a systemic crisis largely due to infrastructural deficit, especially at the tertiary education level which is the vital training mechanism of Nigerian youths.

“It is no longer a myth but a fact that unemployment in Nigeria is slightly connected to security challenges. It is also important to note that delayed payment/non-payment of teacher’s salaries negatively affects the education sector as well as the output of the sector,” Almona stated.

Rasheed Odewunmi, a director at Midramo Consulting, said the Midramo Foundation which was created as a result of the altruistic and impact-driven activities of the firm has been serving as the humanitarian, advocacy and charity arm of the organisation.