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FG Approves N110 Billion to Rejuvenate the National Youth Investment Fund

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Joel Ajayi

The Federal Government has approved N110 billion to revitalize the National Youth Investment Fund (NYIF), for the 2024 fiscal year to serve as a cornerstone for youth empowerment.

The Minister, Ministry of Youth Development, Dr. Jamila Bio Ibrahim, disclosed this during the closing ceremony of the Ministry’s Management Retreat on Presidential Priorities and Deliverables with the theme: ‘Achieving the Eight Presidential Priorities and Deliverables’ in Abuja.

She said the fund is not just a financial reservoir but a catalyst for youth entrepreneurship and innovation aimed at bridging the gap between ambition and opportunity.

Dr Ibrahim further stated that this administration is committed to empowering every Nigerian youth through actionable policies and innovative programmes, under the visionary leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, which aligns with the renewed hope agenda.

“Federal Government has also approved the integration of Skills and Entrepreneurship Development into the NYIF programme, transitioning the NYIF Committee to an interim project management office, and investing N5 billion in the Youth Development Bank.” She added.

According to her, “the National Youth Development Bank (NEXTGEN BANK), a pioneering effort in partnership with the Bank of Industry and their private sector partners, represents a ground-breaking stride towards economic independence for our youth. With an initial take-off shareholder fund of N10 billion, this institution will be instrumental in nurturing young entrepreneurs and innovators who are the bedrock of our nation’s future.”

The Minister further explained that the Retail Development Financial Institution will be dedicated to providing financial solutions tailored specifically for young entrepreneurs, youth-backed ventures, and youth-sector enterprises, adding that with an initial capitalization of N10 billion, the bank is poised to be a pillar of support for youth-led enterprises, offering not just loans and equity but development, guidance, mentorship, and a network of resources. The Bank of Industry will be investing N2.5 billion and their private sector partners have committed to the balance of the N2.5 billion investment, and the bank will be private sector managed.

“The rehabilitation and transformation of Youth Development Centres across the country are set to commence immediately. These centres will be transformed into hubs of technical, digital, and creative skills training; bastions of social, political, and cultural engagement, amongst our youths; and sanctuaries for mental health and combatting the scourges of substance abuse and social decay. By investing in these centres, we are investing in safe spaces that foster the holistic development of the Nigerian youth”, she stated.

In his vote of thanks, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Dunoma Umar Ahmed, expressed gratitude to the Federal Government, the Ministry, all development partners and stakeholders for their unwavering commitment and unflinching support towards lifting the quality of life of Nigerian youth.

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Pre-COP Conference reinforces Nigeria’s role as global climate leader – Tinubu’s aide

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Joel Ajayi Comrade Yussuf Kelani, the recently appointed Special Assistant to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Climate Change Matters, attended the UNFCCC SB60 Pre-COP conference.

As a former President of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) and a dedicated environmental activist, Kelani’s presence at the conference marks a significant step in Nigeria’s climate action journey.

The Pre-COP conference brought together representatives from various nations and stakeholders in climate action and environmental sustainability from around the globe.

This pivotal event was held in preparation for the UNFCCC COP29, scheduled to take place in Baku, Azerbaijan, in November 2024. The primary focus of the conference was to develop and refine the implementation framework for the global climate finance roadmap.

The year 2024 is set to be a landmark year for climate finance, with countries agreeing on a new global climate finance goal known as the New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG). This goal is expected to be a crucial marker for a successful outcome at COP29 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The NCQG aims to mobilize significant financial resources to support the climate needs and priorities of developing countries, including mitigation, adaptation, addressing loss and damage, and facilitating just transitions.

A key objective of the NCQG is to provide clarity on the public funding available for developing countries to implement their next round of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and adaptation plans, which are due by February 2025. At COP28, countries agreed to submit their NDCs 9-12 months ahead of COP30, highlighting the urgency and importance of these commitments.

Our participation in the SB60 Pre-COP conference underscored Nigeria’s proactive stance in global climate negotiations. Our involvement facilitated Nigeria’s engagement with global leaders, policymakers, and climate experts, enhancing collaborative efforts and reinforcing Nigeria’s commitment to climate action.

President Tinubu’s SA on Climate Change Matters highlighted that Nigeria’s active participation in the conference has yielded several benefits, including increased access to climate finance.

The discussions at the conference focused on securing substantial financial resources for developing nations through the NCQG. For Nigeria, this translates into enhanced funding for projects aimed at mitigation, adaptation, and resilience-building. These funds are crucial for Nigeria to achieve its climate targets and transition towards a low-carbon economy.

Another significant aspect of Nigeria’s participation in the SB60 Pre-COP conference was the emphasis on technological innovation and capacity building. Engaging with international experts and stakeholders allowed Nigeria to gain insights into the latest advancements in clean energy technologies, climate-smart agriculture, and sustainable urban development. These insights are vital for driving domestic climate initiatives and ensuring that Nigeria leverages cutting-edge technologies to address its unique challenges.

The outcomes of the SB60 Pre-COP conference align closely with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s agenda for climate change and Nigeria’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Climate action is intricately linked to multiple SDGs, including those related to poverty eradication, food security, clean water, and sustainable cities. By advancing its climate agenda, Nigeria is simultaneously driving progress towards achieving these interconnected goals.

Investments in renewable energy, for instance, not only mitigate greenhouse gas emissions but also provide access to affordable and clean energy, fostering economic growth and reducing poverty. Similarly, sustainable agricultural practices enhance food security and promote responsible land use, contributing to SDG 2 (Zero Hunger) and SDG 15 (Life on Land). These integrated approaches ensure that climate action efforts also deliver socio-economic benefits, thereby promoting holistic development.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is committed to leveraging these gains to implement effective and inclusive climate policies that benefit all Nigerians. Nigeria’s active engagement in global climate forums underscores its dedication to being a leader in climate action and a champion of sustainable development.

As posted on the Facebook page of Comrade Kelani Yussuf,
Special Assistant to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Climate Change Matters

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