Abuja (Min. of Youth and Sports Devt.) – The Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has reiterated its determination and resolve to make the youths acquire requisite digital skills and work experience that would enhance their employability status and economic engagements in line with the sustainable development goals for 2030; through innovative and pragmatic measures.
Minister for Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare made this known during a Town Hall Meeting involving Staff of the Ministry at the Package A, venue of the MKO Abiola Stadium.
Speaking extempore at the annual gathering, the Minister asserted that the series of innovative programmes launched recently by the Ministry were deemed necessary and pragmatic to “sharpen the wheel in a new way, to refocus certain key areas of our mandate particularly youth development: what we have done is to create a new vehicle that could deliver fastly our mandate;” the Minister stated. Both youth and sports, he emphasised, are very important.
Delivering his address that was in the mould of a report card, the Minister decried a youthful population lacking digital skills and empowerment schemes that effectively address the scourge of unemployment and employability of youths in the society. To buttress his position, Mr. Dare said the number of trained youths is far below the reality of expectations against the grim situation on ground, adding, a staggering percentage of our youths are unemployable because they lack digital skill.
The Minister maintained that the D.E.E.L and Work Experience programmes of the Ministry was carefully crafted to address these burning issues of unemployment and employability of our youths, stressing, this would create entrepreneurs and leaders for mentoring in the country. While imploring staff of the Ministry to regularly visit it’s website for awareness and keep abreast of developments, Mr. Dare explained the acronym D.E.E.L to them: ‘D’ according to him stands for Digital skill and literacy, ‘E’ for Entrepreneurship, ‘E’ for Employment while ‘L’ stands for Literacy and mentoring.
Furthermore, the Minister revealed to the gathering that the Ministry had received positive signals for increased budget for the programme from the Ministry of Finance, adding, that the African Development Bank had also promised to release 250 million United States Dollars to actualize the lofty goals of the D.E.E.L for the benefit of our youths.
Continuing, he stated that the Ministry has secured a working partnership with the Junior Achievers/IBM, that would make it’s 64 digital hubs available to our youths for training in January, at no cost to the Ministry. 150 number of youths, the Minister stated, would be trained by them under the scheme, Training the Trainers, stressing, that similarly, the Digital Youth Nigeria (DY.NG), would leverage on existing 12 youth centres across the country and turn them to functional centres that would train 250 youths every 2 months in Digital skills; which will add up to having 6 batches in a year. Also, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), according to Mr. Dare, would assist with the amount of N201million to self-start the youths in their chosen fields of entrepreneurial vocations.
Mr. Dare explained that the Work Experience programme is another dimension of initiatives from the Ministry promising positive hanging fruits and added advantage for our youths, adding, it is a 3-month internship scheme meant to place them in 250 identified corporate organisations on a rotate basis covering different professions, with offering of stipends by the Ministry. An instance of corporate organisations is the 21st Century that would train 100 number of Engineers, the Minister added. Not forgetting the “Nigerian Online Youth Assembly,” the Minister pointed out that it is a dedicated aggregator for our youths looking for job opportunities.
Earlier, the outgoing Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola, said that the Town Hall meeting is an annual tradition of the Ministry which facilitates unfettered interactions between the Management and staff to engender and promote peace in the working place. It is pertinent to state that the meeting offered an opportunity for staff of the Ministry to know and acquaint themselves with the incoming Permanent Secretary, Mr. Gabriel Tanimu Aduda.
There is no gainsaying that indeed the Town Hall meeting lived up to its expectation of providing a robust interactive session with the Minister and the outgoing Permanent Secretary by the Staff.