The Federal Government is partnering with digital firms – KAS Prints and Canon to provide training and empowerment for Nigerian youths.

The partnership, which is through the National Directorate of Employment under the Ministry of Labour and Employment, is in the areas of digital graphic designs and printing with a view to empower printing entrepreneurs, graphic artists and digital photographers.

The partnership was unveiled recently in Lagos during the launch of the Revolutionary Canon 10,000VP digital print equipment and KP2 Partnership programme for printers, graphic artists, print entrepreneurs, publishers and digital photographers.

Managing Director of KAS Prints, Prince Ademola Kasumu, described the Canon 10,000 VP digital print machine as the first all over the world that handles all kinds of media printing.

Kasumu explained that KAS Prints would create a platform for all youths that are skilled in digital designs, print and photography, adding that the firm would equip and design hubs across the six geo-political zones of Nigeria. Each of the hubs in each zone would be equipped with about 100 computers with the necessary software, he assured.

He said KP2 is a sophisticated programme that would help alleviate the problem of joblessness in Nigeria.

“I can assure you that we have instant employment for about 1,000 youths across the nation. Already the NDE has got its database, which it is going to supply and those that are selected will go through this programme. And when we brush them up, they will be hooked into the KP2 programme and they will become their own bosses at no cost.

“They do not need any amount of money to buy any equipment. KAS is going to stand there as a backbone digitally. And when anyone wonders if they can handle any job, they will just tell such people that KAS is behind them. KAS is one of the largest in Africa, Asia, India and Europe.

“My message to the youths is that they should engage themselves in skills acquisition. They don’t need to have the money to buy all these machines. KAS will train you, engage you and advertise you to people,” he said.

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In his keynote address, President and Chief Executive Officer of Canon in Europe, Middle East and Africa, Yuichi Ishizuka, said his firm was delighted at the opportunity to work together with KAS and the Nigerian government.

In his remarks, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN), said the federal government viewed the partnership as an avenue by which many youths could acquire the skill of digital technology and printing to become self-employed.

He said the federal government believed the only way unemployment could be addressed was through skills acquisition which would enable the youths to establish macro, small and medium scale enterprises and become employers of labour.

Said Keyamo: “Government cannot provide employment for everybody, and as such, we are willing to partner with anybody that comes up with such an arrangement like KP2 where they are willing to train our youths to acquire very delicate skills, so that they can be self-employed.

“The preliminary projection we have with KAS is that they are going to set up hubs in six geo-political zones for starters, and they can even go beyond that later. When they start, they want to train our youths free of charge. And so we have a preliminary projection of about 1, 000 youths, where they will absorb them in their centres, train them at no cost to the federal government. So you can see it’s a good deal and that is why I am here.

“It is subject to more details, but this is the overall detail we are looking at. They train them at no cost to the federal government and then they will tap into the data base of the directory of unemployment which supervises employment in our ministry.

“We have a database of youths who are waiting, anxiously, to acquire this skill. We will give them access to this database of the youths. It also goes beyond training them; they will now have access to some data by using the equipment provided by KAS to bring in their jobs, acquire jobs and to also earn some kind of living by having access to these machines.

“We think it is good. We support this initiative and by this, we call on others too, who have initiatives in other fields, be it Agriculture, and so on. They should come forward and if it’s good enough we would support them to absolve these youths.”