BusinessDay

FG upscales investment in youth to improve economic growth

The Federal Government has reassured that it will continue to harness youth potentials in the country with a view to enhancing sustainable economic growth and development.

Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, disclosed this weekend in Lagos at the closing ceremony of the six-week training on Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), organised by the Ministry across the 36 states of the Federation, including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The deliberate and strategic investment in young people is required for the high percentage of the youth population in the country to become a demographic dividend, he said.

“When the youth are positively engaged, there will be a reduction in the indices of crime and delinquency, which are factors that are inimical to national development efforts,” Dare said.

He stated that the approach of the Ministry had been the inclusion of youth employment as a priority segment of the National Youth Policy (NYP) for which a framework for implementation has been provided in the Nigerian Youth Employment Plan (NYEP), adding that the agenda, to be launched in the next few weeks, would deliver a comprehensive approach to youth employment interventions through multi sector collaborations, that emphasise on the Four Es: Employability, Entrepreneurship Development, Employment Creation and Equal Opportunity.

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“This framework will ensure the inclusion of partners across sectors and will create a robust partnership base through my Ministry that will ensure wider reach of youth employment programmes across the country. With new challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, innovative solutions and a robust partnership are required to support youth participation in the process of rebuilding through deliberate and strategic investment that will lead to sustainable economic growth and transformation”, the Minister added.

According to Dare, the programme is an expression of the priority focus of the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration which is to among other things ensure “job creation for youth and to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next ten years”.

He therefore called on all Nigerian youth to take up the challenge for self-development that will support their inclusion in nation building, stating further that youth have the potentials, talents and energy for skills development and other opportunities that will give them leverage in the global economy.

Dare assured further that the present Administration is committed to the task of youth development and will continue to provide an enabling environment and innovative solutions to challenges of youth in the country.

Also speaking, the permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Nebeolisa Anako, while distributing starter packs and other empowerment tools to the participants at the closing ceremony in Abuja, stated that the Ministry would continue to ensure full implementation of the programmes and projects of the Federal Government in line with the policy thrust of the present Administration.

The Ministry will continue to monitor their progress periodically to provide guidance and ensure compliance in line with the objectives of the programme, he said.

Anako, who applauded the Federal Government on its various interventions on youth empowerment, particularly the DEEL initiative which was conceived and launched by the minister Dare, said the programme was designed to ensure a coordinated mechanism that will employ strategies to enhance the competitive aged of Nigerian youth with a focus on Digital Skills, Employability, Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Mentoring.

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