Nigerian youths have been advised to take advantage of the various economic policies and programs of the federal government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouk gave the advice on Sunday in Abuja at the 2020 National Youth Day celebration held at the State House Banquet Hall, Abuja.
Umar Farouq who was Guest of Honour said that it was expedient for youths to take advantage of various interventions under the National Social Investment Program towards youth empowerment.
Addressing participants from the 36 states of the Federation and Federal Capital Territory, she said that the future of any country is largely dependent on the quality of its youths.
“President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has made direct efforts to tackle youth unemployment and re-energize service delivery in four key sectors- Education, Agriculture, Health and Vocational Skills through the N-Power programme”.
With the N-Power programme exiting 500,000 youths through training and providing opportunities for unemployed Nigerian youths between the ages of 18-35 years across the 774 Local Governments of the federation, the Minister said that more youths need to step up and take advantage of these opportunities.
“At the end of engagement of the first two batches of the program, over 100,000 beneficiaries have become entrepreneurs and are now employers of labor”.
The Minister stressed that Nigeria being the most populous country in Africa with one of the youngest populations in the world, has a critical role to play in the immediate and long term future of the country. She said this informed the continued wise investment by the government in this critical age group for stability, prosperity and sustainable national development.
“The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development is partnering very closely with other agencies of Government involved in youth empowerment programs and the Central Bank of Nigeria to see how the exited N-Power beneficiaries can key into the various youth empowerment interventions that are offered by the Bank”.
With over 5 million Nigerian youths cutting across all the six geopolitical zones and states of the federation applying for the next batch of the N-Power programme, Umar Farouq promised that government will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the new enrolment is made more efficient and impactful.
“In the implementation of all our social and humanitarian interventions, we accord, in line with the national youth policy, special priority to the most vulnerable groups of our population such as women and persons with disability. We are convinced that without giving these groups special attention, our overall objective of ensuring social inclusion and protection may not be realized”.
The Minister congratulated some of the recipients of the Young Innovators Award and urged them to make good use of the platform provided for them to excel. She also thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his passion and support for youth development and empowerment while assuring that government at all levels will collectively work towards creating an enabling environment for Nigerian youths to thrive.
NNEKA IKEM ANIBEZE