Tackling unemployment is more than campaign rhetoric it is a socio-economic malaise that must be tackled head-on and if you think I am overreacting ask the unemployed. The lack of a job has led to broken marriages and homes, caused many to experience mental breakdown, worse still some turn to crime out of frustration and anger.
It takes a person of vision, strategy and empathy to make it a priority to tackle unemployment and many a person and government would testify to the intricacies of job creation.
So, when in 2016, the newly elected Governor of Edo State Mr. Godwin Obaseki, announced Edo Jobs as the new initiative to tackle the rising unemployment amongst youths in Edo State; people can be forgiven for saying another voice mail message.
Four years later, we must applaud his strategy of implementing employment programs that created more and better job opportunities. The initiatives rolled out by Mr. Obaseki have done a great job of linking the unemployed market with better opportunities while promoting entrepreneurship and innovation as the engine of job creation.
The Obaseki government launched an innovative and inclusive approach to reducing unemployment, firstly they avoided the mistakes of the past where government employment programs were random and did not address the socio-economic issues putting good jobs out of the reach of the Edo youth, they took the harder but more effective approach of tailoring job creation initiatives to target the skill deficiency in the youth and create the right conditions for budding entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and create jobs.
This strategy is merely the outcome of a competent team at the helm of affairs, they simply tied together the demand and supply sides of job strategy – reached out to the marginalized labor with tailored services that groom them for the opportunities in the labor market, identified and developed the value chains that have the capacity to create employment such as Agriculture,( Media & Creative) Production and Technology.
To ensure the approach worked in synergy, agencies of government were furnished with the necessary resources for policy implementation. This coordination between the government functionaries accounts for the 167,000 jobs created prior to the advent of Covid 19. This is an 80% performance rate in fulfilling the 200,000 job creation campaign promise made by Mr. Godwin Obaseki in 2016.
You can learn more about this strategy and the economic revolution happening in Agriculture, business and technology in the MEGA manifesto.
The Obaseki / Shuaibu government care about the people, it was not just a campaign promise – for them it was about people lives.
As for me, they said it and they did it.