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Businesswoman distributes rice, task FG on employability age limit

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A businesswoman, Mrs Rashidat Usman, has appealed to the Federal Governments to address the hurdle of 24 years age limit for fresh  graduates employability being demanded by some employers.

Usman, Member of the Ikotun Golden Lions Club, said that the age limit had compounded youth unemployment and restiveness.

The philanthropist  spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

According to Usman, many youths are unemployed because many employers pegged the age limit for fresh graduates employability at 24, and that of  master’s degree holders at 26.

“After the lockdown, the  government should look critically into the issue and target more programmes that capture youths’ welfare and employability.

“There is a trend now in Nigeria that is affecting youths, making them not get jobs early.

“Some of them struggle to get admission into the university and do not graduate until they are above 26 years.

“Yet, employers peg the age limit for job seekers at 24 for B.Sc holders, and 26 for M.Sc holders. What of those who graduate later?

”We are cutting them off, excluding them in their prime. The federal and Lagos State governments need to do something,’’ she said.

The philanthropist who distributed rice to some youths in Ikotun area of Lagos State, said that the COVID-19 lockdown had further complicated the problems of the youth.

She called on the governments to give special attention to the youth on their palliative measures,  to discourage them from taking to crime.

Usman, who distributedrice worth N250,000 to youths to cushion the effect of COVID-19 lockdown, urged more interventions from wealthy Nigerians.

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“Today, I came to the local government Primary School, Idimu, to distribute rice. My target is to use the opportunity of the Lagos State market day to distribute it.

”Unfortunately, the market did not open, so we used a nearby location.

“Although I target 100 unemployed youths, we had to include several touts who rushed to the distribution point because of the hardship.

“I am a member of Ikotun Golden Lions Club and I am doing the  distribution as an individual because I love to assist people in  need,” she said.

Usman  appealed to the state government to expand its social intervention programmes for youths to give them a sense of belonging.

She also appealed for programmes that would remove homeless youths from the streets, reform and empower them with skills.

The philanthropists said that she would distribute more bags of rice worth N250,000 in Agbado Oke-Odo Local Council Development Area within the week to impact youths in communities near her abode, Ipaja.

Mr Olarinde Thomas, President, Yoruba Youth Assembly, umbrella body of Yoruba youth groups globally, in a video call with NAN from the venue of the rice distribution lauded the initiative.

Thomas said that the intervention complimented efforts of the federal and state governments toward reducing hardship of unemployed youths.

He called on other well-meaning Nigerians to assist youths.

”I want other wealthy Nigerians to assist the youth because the poverty level is high,’’ he said (NAN)

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