Nestle Nigeria, Big Bottling Company among other companies in Nigeria form Alliance to tackle youth unemployment

NIGERIA – The United Nations Global Compact in partnership with Nestlé Nigeria, Big Bottling Company, Jobberman Nigeria and Sterling One Foundation, have joined forces under the Global Alliance for Youth to tackle youth unemployment in Nigeria.

The Global Alliance for Youth Nigeria is a business-driven movement of like-minded organizations passionate about working together to help young people around the country get the necessary skills to thrive in the world of work, today and tomorrow.

With 62% of the Nigerian population below age 25 years, Nigeria has one of the highest youth populations in the world.

According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, as of the second quarter of 2020, over 13.9 million young Nigerians were unemployed. Millions are also underemployed or in uncertain jobs.

High youth unemployment presents serious global social and economic challenges including increased poverty and insecurity.

“If there was a time where an alliance for youth is needed, it is today. Yes, our youth are confronted with multiple challenges, but the critical challenge is that of a lack of opportunities. Our youth have great potential, and those who have been privileged to find the right opportunities have thrived in remarkable ways.

“This is what this alliance seeks to do: create the opportunities for our youth to attain their highest potential as productive and contributive members of society,” said Wassim Elhusseini, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Nestlé Nigeria PLC.

The members of the Global Alliance for Youth Nigeria have positioned themselves to invest in various joint and individual initiatives to give young Nigerians meaningful work experience, internships, readiness-for-work training, and mentoring opportunities.

“If there was a time where an alliance for youth is needed, it is today. Yes, our youth are confronted with multiple challenges, but the critical challenge is that of a lack of opportunities.”

Wassim Elhusseini – Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Nestlé Nigeria PLC.

This is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 8 – to promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all by 2030.

According to Norena Francis, HR Manager of The Big Bottling Company, “The youths are the future of the world, but the future is now, it therefore means that the youths are the NOW of the world and as such, deliberate actions to make the NOW happen to the benefit of all of mankind is vital,”

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The Alliance plans to reach more than 250,000 young Nigerians with employability and entrepreneurial skills to enable them get gainful employment or set up businesses of their own within the next 3 years.

Rolake Rosiji, Chief Executive Officer, Jobberman Nigeria said, “Through the Alliance, youth will gain access to high-quality trainings, and will be able to gain the critical skills needed to swiftly enter the workforce, as well as grow in their respective fields.”

For Naomi Nwokolo, Executive Director UN Global Compact Network Nigeria, “It is no longer fashionable to ignore the youth, never has it been. The time is now for all stakeholders (government, private sector and civil societies) to pivot towards harnessing the powers and potentials of the youth demographic.”

Also speaking about the Alliance, Chief Executive Officer, Sterling One Foundation, Olapeju Ibekwe believes that effective collaboration is the only sustainable strategy for holistic social impact at this time.

The Global Alliance for Youth – Nigeria member companies are committed to working in collaboration with policymakers, government, and other stakeholders to develop solutions to address youth unemployment and foster job employability and job creation in the coming years.

Together, the Alliance intends to drive concrete actions, providing solutions for measurable change.

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