The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi on Friday said he has started an effort to get 100,000 youths employed within the next two years to tackle the growing problem of unemployment in the country.
Speaking during the inauguration of the Ojaja More shopping mall in Ile-Ife, the monarch said the growing unemployment among youths calls for concern, urging various stakeholders to intervene with a view to reducing the scourge.
He added that each of the malls is expected to create 1000 direct and indirect jobs, saying in the next two years 100 such malls will be established across the country.
“We have started from Ile-Ife because charity begins at home, from here we will cover the entire South West and Nigeria with a chain of over 100 stalls within the next 24 months. It will be the first of its kind in Nigeria and the continent of Africa.
“Beyond grooming young minds and serious-minded youths in a retail business, this initiative will offer over 100,000 direct and indirect employment to our youths across the country, thereby contributing in no small means to human development and capacity building. That’s my target.
“This is a job creation for the Nigerian youths. OjajaMore simply means that people (consumers) can pay less and get more. It is a combination of royalty and retail to create a different shopping perspective starting from Ile-Ife The Source. The business is structured to allow personalized shopping to grow the retail business which is grossly underdeveloped in Nigeria due to reasons which include a proliferation of neighbourhood stores and unorganized markets among others.
“While in Johannesburg about 15 years ago on a business visit, I saw so many retail stores, I thereafter realized that as big as Nigeria was and still is, there are only five (5) major malls with no single one in my hometown Ile-Ife that is refined, classy and affordable.
“Like we have names of people branded into companies like this in developed countries, I initiated this project to build the confidence of our younger ones in productive business and investment activities. Youths are the real drivers of economic growth,” The Ooni said.
On what Nigerians stand to benefit from patronizing the new outfit, the MD/CEO of OjajaMore, Mr. Benedict Orioye explained that high-powered technology will be deployed to ensure that customers are treated with respect and royalty as part of value for their money, beyond what is obtainable in similar outfits nationwide.
Orioye said, “Our focus is to have local content as items making up of at least 70 percent of items to be sold here, this is why we are dueling mostly on the farm market. Everything you can think of in the farm will be sold in OjajaMore with decent packaging in line with global standard operating procedure for food handling”.