Four thousand jobs in Europe and Canada promised to Imo youths by Governor Hope Uzodimma have stirred some controversy.

On September 28, Uzodimma told a crowd of Imo state youths that “by December this year, 4,000 Imo youths will be employed in Europe.”

The governor, who is seeking re-election in November, noted that he had negotiated with some European and Canadian companies that have promised to “send us special areas of skills that our youths will also learn.”

Since the governor made the announcement, the opposition has slammed the idea, saying it is not feasible.

The PDP and the Labour Party, in separate statements, described the offer as an “insult to Imo youths.”

The Labour Party media director, Tanko Yinusa, said it is deceitful for the governor to make such a promise when his administration has yet to provide basic employment to the youth in the state.

“It’s not this particular issue of giving job opportunities to Imolites young boys and girls abroad. That is total deceit because how many of them have you employed back home to build the state, and you are telling them that you are going to give them tickets? That is insulting” he said.

But the Deputy Speaker, Imo State House of Assembly, Amara Iwuanyanwu, in strong defense of the governor, said it was a good idea and the governor should be commended for the initiative.

“No government can provide enough jobs for its citizens, especially in a country like Nigeria” he stated.

He noted that the plan to send the youths abroad would help to lift several families out of poverty and contribute to the economy of the state, and that the governor deserves commendation for hatching the idea.

Aside from politicians reacting to the matter, some analysts and youths in the state reacted differently to the governor’s proposal.

A university don, Felix Anokwute, told INNONEWS that there is nothing wrong with the governor’s offer.

He said “What is important is to gainfully ensure that our youths are employed. It does not matter where. The world is now a global village. People can work at different places. The remittances that would accrue to your youths when they are employed in Europe would be routed back home, and it would improve our economy.

“It is absolutely a fantastic idea, if it is properly implemented.”

A youth leader in Owerri North LGA, James Eke, said the world has changed and employment can come from anywhere.

“Where the job is coming from is irrelevant, as it is a legitimate job. We have so much emphasis on jobs for your youth in this state, and most governments have paid lip service to it.

“Now that there is opportunity, we should not discard it and treat it with levity,” he said.

Collins Uche, a public policy analyst based in Owerri, said the governor meant well and should be commended.

“It is a welcome idea. Our youths have been crying over a lack of jobs. Now that we have the opportunity to get employed abroad, it should be utilized.

“Do you know how much one spends just to travel abroad? And we now have a governor who is not asking for a dime to get our youths to travel abroad and get employed. He should be commended and not vilified.” Uche stated.

For John Ukoha, the governor’s proposal is testimony to the fact that his administration has failed.

“The Governor should use the money he wants to spend on the travel expenses of the youths to fix industries and factories in the state.

“There are no functional industries in the state. There is no enabling environment for job creation in the state because of insecurity, which he has failed to contain,” he said.

Ms. Agnes Anyanwu, a university graduate, said the employment of 4, 000 youths abroad by the governor would encourage brain drain.

“This is a continuation of brain drain. Exporting our homegrown skills abroad is not good for our economy. The government should be able to fix the industries and get our youths to work in those industries to boost our economy” she declared.

A student of one of the tertiary institutions in the state, Igbechi Onwukwe, said “the governor should focus on fighting insecurity to enable foreign investors to come and invest in the state.

“Imo State is always in the news for the wrong reasons. That he wants to take 4,000 youths to go abroad and get employed shows that there are no job opportunities in the state. He should focus on creating such opportunities back home” he stated


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