Lagos, Nigeria – 11 August 2021 – As the world marks the 2021 International Youth Day, five companies have joined forces under the Global Alliance for Youth to tackle youth unemployment in Nigeria.
The Global Alliance for Youth Nigeria is a business-driven movement of like-minded organizations passionate about working together to help young people around the country get the necessary skills to thrive in the world of work, today and tomorrow.
With 62% of the Nigerian population below age 25 years, Nigeria has one of the highest youth populations in the world. According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, as of the second quarter of 2020, over 13.9 million young Nigerians were unemployed. Millions are also underemployed or in uncertain jobs.
High youth unemployment presents serious global social and economic challenges including increased poverty and insecurity. The members of the Global Alliance for Youth Nigeria have positioned themselves to invest in various joint and individual initiatives to give young Nigerians meaningful work experience, internships, readiness-for-work training, and mentoring opportunities in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 8 – to promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all by 2030.
The Alliance plans to reach more than 250,000 young Nigerians with employability and entrepreneurial skills to enable them to get gainful employment or set up businesses of their own within the next 3 years.
Members of the Alliance are Nestlé Nigeria, Jobberman Nigeria, Sterling One Foundation, Big Bottling Company and the United Nations Global Compact.
In a statement at the Press Conference to launch the Alliance, Wassim Elhusseini, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Nestlé Nigeria PLC said, “We are excited to announce the Global Alliance for Youth Nigeria today. If there was a time where an alliance for youth is needed, it is today. Yes, our youth are confronted with multiple challenges, but the critical challenge is that of a lack of opportunities. Our youth have great potential, and those who have been privileged to find the right opportunities have thrived in remarkable ways. This is what this alliance seeks to do: create the opportunities for our youth to attain their highest potential as productive and contributive members of society. For us at Nestlé, contributing to a better future for younger generations is a core part of our purpose as an organization. We are confident in the potential impact of the alliance to drive change at scale, leveraging the resources, expertise and network of member companies”.
According to Norena Francis, HR Manager of The Big Bottling Company, “The youths are the future of the world, but the future is now, it, therefore, means that the youths are the NOW of the world and as such, deliberate actions to make the NOW happen to the benefit of all of mankind is vital. Hence, we join the rest of the world in celebrating this year’s International Youth Day… Happy International Youth Day!”
For Rolake Rosiji, Chief Executive Officer, Jobberman Nigeria, “We are excited to be a part of the Alliance to tackle the employment and employability challenge in Nigeria today. Through the Alliance, youth will gain access to high-quality training, and will be able to gain the critical skills needed to swiftly enter the workforce, as well as grow in their respective fields.”
In her comments, Naomi Nwokolo, Executive Director UN Global Compact Network Nigeria said, “It is no longer fashionable to ignore the youth, never has it been. The time is now for all stakeholders (government, private sector and civil societies) to pivot towards harnessing the powers and potentials of the youth demographic. Our participation, which we are proud of, as a member of the Global Alliance for Youth is a clear statement of our intent to engage with the private sector to further entrench the corporate sustainability agenda particularly in the areas of Women and Youth inclusion, Sustainable Innovation, Decent Work and Economic Growth”.
Also speaking about the Alliance, Chief Executive Officer, Sterling One Foundation, Olapeju Ibekwe said, “We have prioritized partnerships for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals across our focus sectors as we believe effective collaboration is the only sustainable strategy for holistic social impact at this time. In line with this, we are glad to partner with the Global Alliance for Youth Nigeria as we mark the International Youth Day and look forward to the various innovative projects that will be executed for young people across the country.”
The Global Alliance for Youth – Nigeria member companies are committed to working in collaboration with policymakers, government, and other stakeholders to develop solutions to address youth unemployment and foster job employability and job creation in the coming years. Together, the Alliance intends to drive concrete actions, providing solutions for measurable change.
The International Youth Day, which is celebrated on August 12 annually, serves as an opportunity for Governments and stakeholders to draw attention to youth issues worldwide while celebrating the potential of young people as active partners in the global society.
To sign up for The Global Alliance for Youth – Nigeria as an organization OR for additional information or interview requests, send an email to Corporate.Communications@NG.nestle.com
About Nestlé Nigeria:
Nestlé Nigeria is one of the largest food and beverage companies in Africa. For over 59 years, the company has been delighting consumers around Nigeria by consistently delivering high quality nutritious food.
With a staff strength of over 2,200 direct employees, 3 manufacturing sites, 7 branch offices and a head office located in Lagos, the company produces and markets several iconic brands including NESTLÉ PURELIFE, GOLDEN MORN, MILO, MAGGI and NESCAFÉ.
Nestlé’s purpose is to unlock the power of food to enhance quality of life for everyone, today and for generations to come.
About Big Bottling Company
The Big Bottling Company Limited, makers of Big Cola and other carbonated soft drink flavors is an indigenous glocal company set up to manufacture premium quality softdrinks that are excellent in taste and very big on value. BBC started operations in 2015 and has continued to grow in leaps and bounds annually.
BBC’s partnership with Laliga attests to the brand’s deliberate commitments not only to scintillating the teeming consumers taste buds but also associating with the most loved game in the country at the international stage.
Innovation driven by deep rooted consumer insights is the foundation upon which BBC’s operations are hinged and this is the reason for which BBC brands have remained top of mind as Nigeria’s favorite soft drinks. For more information, visit www.bigbottlingcompany.com.
About Jobberman Nigeria
Founded in 2009, Jobberman is an online platform that provides training and placement for jobseekers, as well as the best selection of candidates for companies hiring. It is the single largest job placement website in sub-Saharan Africa and has the vision to become the leading source of talent in every market it operates in by simplifying job searching and talent acquisition; matching the right set of skills with employer’s needs. For more information about the online placement platform visit www.jobberman.com.
About Sterling One Foundation
Sterling One Foundation is driven by the unique challenges facing Africa and the need for progressive change. They are committed to be the benchmark of positive social impact in Nigeria by creating sustainable solutions for youth empowerment and job creation via impactful sectors which are Education, Food Security, Renewable energy, Gender development and Health. The Giving crowd funding platform is an arm of the Sterling One Foundation.
About United Nations Global Compact
As a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General, the United Nations Global Compact is a call to companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Launched in 2000, the mandate of the UN Global Compact is to guide and support the global business community in advancing UN goals and values through responsible corporate practices. With more than 10,000 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and more than 60 Local Networks, it is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world.
The United Nations Global Compact Network Nigeria is a business-led sustainability initiative of the UN Global Compact, it was launched in Nigeria in 2007 during the Nigerian Economic Summit.
The UN Global Compact Network Nigeria as a Local Network strives to mobilize a local movement of sustainable companies and stakeholders with the aim of improving the lives of future generations.
Guided by The Ten Principles and the 17 SDGs, we support companies and stakeholders in understanding what responsible business means within a global and local context and provide guidance to translate sustainability commitments into action. Global Compact Network Nigeria stimulates and facilitates the creation of local connections and serves as a catalyst to companies and stakeholders to achieve Agenda 2030.
For more information, follow @globalcompactnigeria on Instagram, UN Global Compact Network Nigeria in Linkedin or visit our website at www.unglobalcompactng.org