The Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III, on Sunday decried the level of youth unemployment in Nigeria, saying it is worse than a ticking time bomb.
He spoke when he featured as a guest on Channels Television’s current affairs programme, Newsnight, blaming youth unemployment on the raging insecurity across the country.
“I don’t even know if calling it a ticking time bomb is appropriate anymore because it is getting so close,” the monarch said, giving the unemployment rate at over 30 per cent.
According to him, “We have a very young population. These young men and women have energy and they have time. If they are not using their energy and time in a productive direction, then you can be sure it is going to be in a counterproductive direction.
“It is just simple logic. While it is not a situation that is unique to Nigeria, we have to embrace any and every creative measure once again within the legal framework that engages these young men and women.”
The monarch, therefore, urged leaders of the country to guide young Nigerians, cautioning that if no urgent steps are taken to tackle the rising unemployment among youths, the unemployment rate could hit 40 per cent.
Advising the Federal on how to tackle insecurity in the country, the Olu said the Federal Government must carry the traditional institutions along, adding that it was high time Nigeria’s constitution recognised the roles of monarchs within their respective domains.
He said, “I think a lot has to be considered with an open mind, we have a constitution as it is. A lot will argue that it is flawed and certain things were omitted, but that is fine.
“But those who put it together put it together with the best they had available to them. I believe constitutions should be living and breathing documents. With time, when it glaring to all without a shadow of a doubt that changes need to be made, I think everybody should come together and say how can we make a change that improves on what previously existed.
“There was once a constitution that officially recognised our role as traditional rulers. I think it is gradually going back in that direction. It is being considered and I will encourage that.”