The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, has suggested that Government organisations at all levels should focus more on skills and talents during employment instead of certificates.
The Minister made the suggestion on Tuesday, during the prize presentation ceremony and the Grand Finale of Katsina National Talent Hunt Challenge competition in Katsina.
He said if considered, this will go a long way in creating more job opportunities and addressing problems of unemployment in the country.
The Minister added that by extension, such a move will solve the challenges bedeviling the country, especially in the area of employment and job delivery.
He then urged the organizers of the competition to keep the record and database of all the participants for easy mentoring.
According to him, the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has put more efforts in that direction by providing various empowerment programmes to Nigerians for self-reliance.
The minister insisted that the problem of Nigeria is not employment but employability.
He said the Nigerian government over the past five years has been moving towards creating an employability atmosphere for young Nigerians by engaging them in skills and acquisitions.
Pantami said, “This is what we have been agitating for the last five years that there is a need for us to focus more in identifying our brilliant minds, our youthful minds within our communities.
“So that we give them what they need, with this we will be able to create many jobs, we will be able to bring our paradigm shift in which we will be producing potential job providers instead of potential job seekers.
“As the situation is today, most of our young people after their school are not anywhere thinking of entrepreneurship or any vocational skill, but they are only interested in government employment and this will not happen anywhere in the world.
“The only way we will be able to improve in our economy, address the issue of unemployment and employability is through giving more priority and preference to the youth that have brilliant ideas that are willing to be self-reliant. With this, they will be able to employ others.”
Gov. Aminu Masari, in his speech, highlighted the objective of the competition which he said was out to encourage innovation and develop youth potential talents and innovators in the state and the country.
He added that the competition would raise the status of the state among its counterparts in the country and the world in general.
“The main objective of the competition is to encourage innovation and develop the potential talents of the youths of the state in particular and Nigeria in general.
“This is in line with the vision of my administration, which believes in the potential of the Nigerian youths,” he said.
The Director General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council, Jelani Aliyu, encouraged the participants to sustain the tempo.
He further advised them to also prepare themselves to become world best talents in their chosen career.
During the ceremony, four categories of prices were presented to the winners, where the overall winner went home with a brand new Toyota Highlander jeep and N2 million.
The four categories include; Arts and Design, Automotive Modeling and Products, ICT Design as well as Music and Entertainment.
The third-placed winners in each of the categories received N1.5 million each, second positions N3 million each, while those who placed first received N5 million each.
In addition to the cash prizes, 100 contestants were rewarded with consolation prizes of N100,000 each.