Diocesan Bishop of the Diocese of Lagos (Anglican Communion), Rev. Humphrey Olumakaiye, Monday urged the federal government to do more in the area of youth employment.
Olumakaiye said this at the opening ceremony of the 1st session of the 34th Synod of the Diocese of Lagos entitled, “The unfailing faith of our fathers: ever sufficient” at Our Saviours Church, Lagos.
“If our youths are employed, crime rate and criminality will reduce. Kidnapping will reduce, ritual killings, thuggery and vandalism will also reduce.
“A nation that does not invest in the future of her youths is only investing in civil unrest, and such nation is sitting on a keg of gun powder,” he said.
The cleric identified the agricultural sector as the engine that drives the nation’s economy, in spite of the oil boom and the position crude oil occupies in the global economy.
“The agricultural sector, if it is properly harnessed, can provide huge employment opportunities for the teeming population, eradicate hunger and reduce poverty.
“Way back in the 60s, Nigeria’s agricultural sector, according to the Bureau of Statistics, constituted about 64 per cent of the nation’s GDP. Today, it barely contributes a paltry 25.13 per cent,” he said.
Olumakaiye urged the government to increase funding of the agricultural sector, advising that research should be given high priority to boost livestock, fishing, as well as crop preservation and processing.
“Larger percentage of the harvests is being wasted due to lack of storage and preservative facilities. Processing equipment is not within the reach of average farmers.
“We salute the ongoing effort to resolve the menace of herdsmen/farmers crisis, which has made many farmers to abandon their farm settlements.
“Government should put machinery in place to put a stop to killing of innocent lives in our nation and continue to do everything possible to ensure that the nation feeds her citizens in the short, medium and long term,” he said.
On his part, Lagos state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, urged Lagosians to pray and support the incoming governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, so that the state could continue to progress in the path of peace.