Calabar Job and Enterprise Fair, CAJEF Opens

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by crossriverwatch admin

Guest Speakers at the Calabar Job and Enterprise Fair
Guest Speakers at the Calabar Job and Enterprise Fair

The Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke has lauded the initiative of Beken and Fort for organizing a job and enterprise fair in Calabar.

In his speech, the Governor who was represented by His Deputy, Barrister Efiok Cobham reiterated his administration’s commitment to creating more jobs for the citizens through organized platforms.

He said, “It is because of our vision that we struggled to host the Central Bank of Nigeria Entrepreneurial Development Center, Micro Finance and Enterprise Development Agency and others to boost entrepreneurship in the state.”

Imoke noted that unemployment is a major challenge that the youths are facing which leads to non productivity and called for urgent action. “Many of our youths are economically dislocated and their teeming number is increasing very fast according to statistics which mean we must act fast.” he said.

He further maintained that Cross River State is richly blessed with natural resources that if properly harnessed will salvage the State from its present state of high rate of unemployment.

Earlier, in his welcome address Mr. John Etim Bassey, Chief Executive Officer of Beken and Fort limited said CAJEF is a platform to share with all and sundry his organization’s thoughts on how to reduce unemployment and increase employment skills amongst young persons.

Mr. Etim Bassey beckoned the participants to take advantage of the opportunities the program provides.

In a key note address Mrs. Oluyemisi Omotosho, a Human Resource Management Consultant said that unemployment is a global issue where for every opportunity of employment for three people you find a hundred applying. Adding that getting a job now is more competitive and that what guarantees a job is no more paper qualification but expertise, passion, vision, willingness, commitment and love for the job not salary.

She supported the view that results no more speak for skills as in the past.”Many times I have come across people who want to work but when they are called for interview, they will not come prepared to show their skills but will hope on their paper qualification. It is no more a secret that results are easily bought and hold false aptitude testimony for many, besides most of the skills sought for are not recorded there.” she asserted.

Furthermore, she stated that the secret behind many organizations’s employment criterion of 5 to 10 years working experience is just to shut the door on those who have had little or no working experience in selected fields but only results to show because many have lost faith in the educational system and their products.

She charged employers of labor to show their creative ability in defining a modus that will allow young graduates to work on reasonable probation to acquire training and working experience after which actual recruitment can take place.

To prospective employees she said, “Employers are not looking for educational qualification alone but employ-ability skills. There’s big differences between the two and to get a reliable job you need both”.

Also speaking, the President Calabar Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mine and Agriculture, CALCIMA Dr. Margaret Ndoma Egba commended the organizers of the fair for such initiative and urged them to stop at nothing in achieving their goals.

She said it is regrettable that from performance results of Nigeria’s economy by the Nigeria Planning Commission, Abuja, the anticipated generation of over 1.8 million new jobs annually to curb unemployment has not materialized.

Instead only an average of about 160, 000 net new jobs were created between 2007 and 2011. And that according to the same statistics, the percentage of the unemployed has increased from 21.4% to 23.9%.

“It is imperative to note that the unemployment figures give an interpretation of the performance of the government. On that note I state unequivocally that, the importance of this job fair cannot be over emphasized because it is an index for organizational turn up to both employers and those in the labor market” she said.

The fair which is hosted by Beken and Fort Limited was jointly sponsored by Calabar Chamber of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture and Cross River State Government.

Also in attendance was the Special Adviser to Governor Imoke on Investment Promotion, Mr. Gerald Ada and the Managing Director, West Africa, Wilmer International.

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