Worsening unemployment and poverty in the country are attributable to bad economic policies by leaders and the nation’s over dependence on importation, Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has said.
Obaseki spoke to journalists in Benin City, according a statement by his Special Assistant on Media Project, Crusoe Osagie.
He quoted the governor as saying that the country’s main challenge is not lack of money but bad leadership.
“The reason we have a lot of unemployment is because we would rather import what we consume than make them here.
“When you manufacture or grow what you consume, you’ll be able to now invest and employ people to produce those things, but when you import, your money goes to employ people outside the country.
“We are poor because of the bad policies and decisions our leaders continue to make. Our problem is not money but a few people trying to keep the money to themselves to the detriment of everyone in the land,” the governor added.
MEANWHILE, the governor has linked the success recorded by his administration in the fight against human trafficking and illegal migration to reforms in education and programmes to build the capacity of youths, equipping them to become globally competitive.
Obaseki, while addressing journalists in Benin City, said the government on assumption of office in 2016 met an Edo that was categorised by the horror of human trafficking and irregular migration, noting that the narrative had changed.
He said: “We met a state categorised by the horror of human trafficking and irregular migration. At some point, in 2016, and 2017, we had more than 30,000 young Edo boys and girls, who had got themselves to Libya to cross over to Europe. That was a human horror, a big tragedy for most of them, who will go anywhere else but home.”
On how the government was able to tackle the scourge, the governor said: “We started gathering data and obtained information on why a lot of these young people were leaving, trying to understand the underlying issues driving human trafficking and irregular migration.
“One thing came out clearly: First, the current circumstances these people had to confront were such that they were not prepared for it; they had not been properly educated, because our education system at the time had crumbled and the attempt to fix education by our predecessors mostly focused on education infrastructure.
“That made us focus extensively on the root causes and foundations of educational decay, which included up skilling the teachers and equipping them with technology. For those, who had fallen out of the education system and had not been properly educated, the approach was to capture them and re-skill them for work.”
Source: The Guardian