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Only investments in infrastructure’ll create jobs in Nigeria, others—AfDB

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has made it clear to African countries clamouring for job creation to stop deceiving themselves and invest massively in infrastructure, saying this is the best antidote to seamless job creation.

The bank and its allies said African youth unemployment cannot be solved by mere payment of stipends to jobless youth but through provision of infrastructure that can spur youths into creative self job creations.

Only yesterday, the presidency announced the resumption of N-Power scheme, a government palliative initiative that will employ about 500,00o youths starting with 200,000 from next month. According to the programme, selected youths will be on N30,000 monthly stipends and work in farms and related establishments pending when they will grow in skills and begin their own business.

But according to AfDB, the idea of infrastructure provision to grow economy is outlined in the vision of Agenda 2063.

Officials from the African Union (AU), the NEPAD Agency and the African Development Bank (AfDB) in unison, gave the explanation at the opening of the second annual Programme for Infrastructure Development (PIDA) Week currently underway in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

Business Hilights discovered that this year’s gathering organised under the theme, “Creating Jobs through Regional Infrastructure Development,” has drawn over 250 participants and stakeholders representing member states, private sector, development partners and project owners.

A press release copied to Business Hilights from AfDB said PIDA Week 2016 will showcase and validate the relevance of regional infrastructure (PIDA) projects and the impact thereof on the socio-economic development of Africa and particularly on job creation for the youth.

H.E. Dr. Elham M.A. Ibrahim, AU Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy was quoted as saying in the release that “PIDA should play an important role in narrowing the gap between job creation and unemployment. To that end, public decision-makers and private sector management are urged to actively undertake training and skills acquisition in infrastructure development, particularly in building roads, rail systems, power generation and power transmission systems in order to enable young Africans to be well prepared for the implementation of complex programmes such as PIDA”.

The release also cited NEPAD Agency CEO, Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki as saying that if Africa is to be successful in increasing the number of regional and domestic infrastructure projects and their impact, changes are needed in mind-set, policy pronouncements and programme implementation.

“Africa stands to benefit from its critical human resources, the young people, who must be nurtured to enable their meaningful participation in national development efforts and I believe that infrastructure development is central to this.

He indicated that there is a need to continue with the positive streamlining of trans-boundary infrastructure projects as highlighted in PIDA and complementary initiatives.