Edo State Governor , Adams Oshiomhole, has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to convene a national conference on youth unemployment rather than the convocation of a national dialogue, which he described, as a mere talk shop that will not solve the nation’s economic problems.
Describing the proposed national dialogue as a misplaced priority, Oshiomhole said what would be more apposite with the present economic situation was for the country to hold a “conference on youth unemployment.”
He spoke in an interview with journalists in Ado-Ekiti, on Wednesday evening, after a rally in commemoration of the third anniversary of the administration of Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
According to him, the country should place high premium on youth employment rather than wasting time on how to hold a conference that would not solve the myriad of crises bedevilling Nigeria.
Oshiomhole, who branded the conference as a frivolous exercise, urged Jonathan to rather deploy his energy towards how to make the youths more productive and competitive than convening national conference.
The governor urged the president to shelve the planned conference and convene another dialogue to discuss issues that were critical to the survival of Nigerians rather than discussing matters that could only appeal to ethnic sentiments.
He lamented that ‘too much talking’ had been the bane of the country since independence, describing this as the greatest undoing of the nation.
He said: “As for the issue of national conference, I have always mentioned that the problem of Nigeria is not talking; our problem is that we talk too much and no nation has attained greatness through too much talking.
“When people say let us dialogue, which dialogue? What I want is a national dialogue on unemployment. I mean, how to get our young people back to work.
“I want a national conference on how we can prohibit importation of some goods and ensure that Nigerians consume made in Nigeria products.
“I want a national conference on how we can revive the Ikeja industrial base, the Apapa industrial base, the Isolo industries, the Bompai and Sharandi industries in Kano, how Aba and Delta textiles can be revived.
“You know the whole industries in Kano produced me. Our founding fathers, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, competed on the basis of who was producing jobs, who could add values to lives; so this should be the kind of conference Nigeria should think of.”
Oshiomhole urged the federal government to deploy the larger parts of the country’s resources to tackle poverty among the populace and stop wasting time on frivolities.