The Chairman of Zinox Group, Leo Stan Ekeh, opined that the unemployment situation in the region is a ticking time bomb, describing it as a social problem of immense ramifications which may see all-inclusive peace elude the nation, if not urgently addressed.
At a 2-day convention organized by the Owerri People’s Assembly, an apex socio-cultural, the Zinox Group boss, said: “The problem of massive unemployment facing the South East region is one that requires concerted efforts from the Federal Government and other stakeholders.
A situation, in which thousands of qualified graduates, most of them with upper class degrees, are still looking for their first jobs 10 or 12 years after leaving school, is highly worrisome. It is a suicidal situation; one that will potentially explode in disastrous consequences, if not immediately addressed.
“If you rely on statistics, there are over a million of such unemployed graduates in the South East. Having such a huge number of active yet unengaged youths concentrated in the region is a serious cause for concern and the Federal Government has a role to play in nipping this situation in the bud,” he stated.
While disclosing that a lot is being done by private individuals and entrepreneurs from the region to ameliorate the situation, Ekeh noted that this was grossly insufficient and urged the Federal Government to partner with such well-meaning Nigerians to achieve more.
“What is required is a joint effort to save our youths. In reality, the State Governments cannot do it alone.
Also, a number of entrepreneurs, businessmen and other well-meaning Nigerians from the region are equally doing their best but it is hardly enough.
Personally, I have been quietly supporting the Imo State Government for many years in creating employment opportunities for youths in various communities in the state.
These investments often exceed the sum of N1 billion yearly but it is like a drop of water in an ocean.