The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has urged African leaders to speed up the industrilisation process in order to create more decent job opportunities for its young population.
Its new assistant director-general and regional director for Africa, Aneneas Chapinga Chuma, who made the call in Abuja during his first visit, said it was only through industrilisation and less dependence on importation that the continent could provide jobs for the youth.
According to him, the ILO is well aware of the tremendous challenges that youth unemployment poses to its member states, Nigeria inclusive.
He, however, said the organisation was greatly impressed by the laudable efforts of both the federal and state government in providing employment and income generation options for youths.
He said: “Our priorities are clear, we have to support industrilisation. Africa has a young population that is eager to work. Our young population is a tremendous advantage in the industrilisation process.”
Chuma added that the ILO would encourage ECOWAS to examine how migration of professionals can be managed that is mutually beneficial to the region and individual countries”
He said one of the things facing most West African countries was shortage of skills, adding that “African economy has grown in the last few years but it has not led to the transformation of the economy.”
On the deregulation of the downstream sector of the Nigerian economy, the ILO boss appealed to both federal government and labour unions to ensure that they maintained the interest of moving Nigeria forward when dialoguing.