Sunday Dare, the honourable minister of youth and sports development has stated that the issue of advancing youth development is a multi-faceted phenomenon that requires a multi-sectoral approach.
The minister made the statement on the occasion of the maiden International Youth Work Week Convention of Nigeria, a capacity building workshop held in Abuja on November 1-5.
“Youth development is a multi-faceted phenomenon which requires a multi-sectoral approach as no one agency or organ of government can adequately address youth issues and challenges in the country,” Dare said.
According to him, all hands must be on deck in tackling these challenges and the time is now. Quoting Margaret Thatcher, the former prime minister of Great Britain, “Young People ought not to be idle. It is very bad for them”.
“It is this idleness of young people in our society that has either led to or heightened the very bad influences of kidnapping, insurgency, banditry, Boko haram, human trafficking, prostitution, cybercrimes, terrorist activities, armed robbery with violence, etc.” the minister stated.
Meanwhile, he noted that the present administration over the years has initiated and implemented various programmes and projects to curtail youth unemployment by engaging them in meaningful and productive ventures that led to socio-economic growth and development.
The minister further explained that the National Youth Policy (NYP) and Nigerian Youth Employment Action Plan (NIYEAP) as well as the National Youth Employment Template were all developed by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development (FMYSD) to respond to Youth employment in Nigeria.
He stated that the federal government through the efforts of the Ministry approved N75b last year for Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) specially meant for young entrepreneurs to have access to loans at minimal interest in order to establish and improve their businesses.
“The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development under my watch launched the DEEL initiative aimed at giving Nigerian Youth a comparative advantage and a competitive edge in the global employment demand and supply. DEEL is an acronym for D-digital Skills acquisition, E-employability, E-Entrepreneurship and L- Leadership.
The DEEL initiative has equipped 200,000 youth with digital skills-basic, intermediate and advanced skills in areas such as Web design and management, software training, cloud computing, Artificial intelligence, App development, code, and data processing,” the minister said.
He, therefore, called on all stakeholders and well-meaning Nigerians to come up with unique ways and strategies that would facilitate the professionalization of youth development work in Nigeria, with a view to aiding in tackling the challenges facing our young people in order for us to secure a sustainable future.