The growth and prosperity of the Nigerian economy is dependent on the creation of employment opportunities for all Nigerians. With the current population of about 174 million, with two-thirds of the population living on less than $1.25 a day, it is evident that we need to increase the efforts necessary to provide Nigerians with a source of income that they can sufficiently live on.
Research from the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER, 2013) shows that the percentage of unemployed youth (ages 15-34) that are female accounts for 55% of the population.
Traditionally in Northern states, women are not the primary providers for their families. Senator Nyako is aware that unfavourable circumstances are leading more women to take on additional responsibilities in their homes.
With this in mind, he is championing projects in Adamawa such as the IDEAL Woman’s Support Project (IWSP) to better engage women through micro-financing schemes that promote skills acquisition, entrepreneurship, and home economics—further encouraging poverty reduction, socio-economic security, and more female-owned businesses. This initiative is important for the Senator, as it not only encourages job creation, it also offers women opportunities for self-development and provides them with skills that they will utilize throughout their lives.
The same study published by NISER in 2013 showed that 53% of the unemployed youth (ages 15-34) in Nigeria live in rural areas.
The above study demonstrates a need to engage youths in these areas and to provide them with a variety of options for advancement.
When awarded the title of Sarki Matassa Adamawa in 2013, Senator Nyako focused his efforts on empowering youth by way of educational workshops and employment programs. One such program for drug sensitization was created in response to an observation made by the Senator in a local village in Adamawa.
While visiting the village, he noticed that there was a lack of pharmacies and access to prescription or pain-relieving medication such as Panadol. What was compelling about this visit was the fact that the only drugs available in the village were narcotics that were sold and distributed by the youth.
From this experience, Senator Nyako began conducting drug-related programs throughout Adamawa in partnership with the National Drug and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA). He spearheaded the Local Apprenticeship Scheme (LAS), which provides youth with skills acquisition opportunities in trades such as tailoring, carpentry, auto repairs, cooking/baking. In addition, his leadership aided in the establishment of several Vocational Technical Training Centers (VTTC) in Adamawa.
Looking ahead, he intends to create job-transitioning programs that will provide youth in Adamawa with other forms of employment so that they are not dependent on drug trafficking and other illicit activities as a means of survival.