Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Minister of Finance, and Jack Dorsey, the co-founder/ Chief Executive Officer of Twitter, have called on Nigerian youths to leverage technology to reduce the level of unemployment in the country.
They said that with the current rate of unemployment in the country, the time has come for the youth to focus on how to create jobs for themselves rather than relying on paid employment.
Speaking on Monday in Abuja during a visit by the Twitter CEO to the African University of Science and Technology, Okonjo-Iweala called on the youth to focus more attention on entrepreneurship.
The National Bureau of Statistics had in the last quarter of 2018 stated that the number of Nigerians without jobs stood at 20.9 million.
But Okonjo-Iweala, who is also the Chairman, Board of Trustees, AUST, said that technology had provided a huge platform for the youth to create jobs for themselves and others.
The former finance minister who was instrumental to the visit of the Twitter boss to the school said, “Dorsey told them (students of the school) that he was interested in entrepreneurship, not just using Twitter as a platform but also using it to spur entrepreneurship among young people.
“They can use it as a platform to create jobs and we actually heard examples of young Nigerians doing two or three things using Twitter.
“Jack believes that Twitter serves as a platform for young people to create jobs for themselves and others.
“This can have a huge impact and that’s why we wanted him to come to Nigeria so that he can help us help ourselves.”
In his comments at the event, Dorsey said that Twitter has created a platform not only for people to be heard but for them to explore the immense potential in technological innovation.
He said over the last 13 years, the company has been coming up with innovative solutions.
Prof Oye Ibidapo-Obe, the Chair, Governing Council, AUST, described the unemployment rate in the country as alarming.
He added that if the huge rate of unemployment is not addressed, it could pose serious problems for the country.
He said, “What is important to us and even the government is youth employment. The rate is so much that if we don’t do something quickly, we are going to get into trouble and the best platform is technology.
“That is what we have seen today. As a matter of fact, the human potentiality is here and we believe strongly too that this university will be the centre of focus for technology in Africa.”