When youths are positively engaged with sustainable economic activities, this will not only ensure socio-economic progress, promotion of National cohesion, peace, and stability but there will be a huge reduction in incidences of crime and juvenile delinquency which are factors inimical to national developmental efforts – strategic positive youth engagement where attributes such as their energy, creativity, adaptability which are beneficial factors that have contributed to the growth and development of Nations globally will be sure avenues for Nigeria’s National development in no distant future.
These were the submission of the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare at the closing ceremony of Youth Empowerment Program on Capacity building and Scale-up on Sustainable Livelihood programme in Tailoring and Fashion Design for unemployed youth at the National Youth Development Center Ode-Omu, Osun state. He said the potential of youths if harnessed can transform development efforts positively.
Speaking further, Mr. Dare said to achieve President’s Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to lift 100 million out of poverty in 10 years, the Ministry with its initiative of Youth Empowerment program which has been in operation since 2007 is increasing the number of trained youths annually.
In 2018, 84 youths across the Nation with FCT were trained, also in 2019, another set of 140 participants from the 36 states and the FCT have successfully completed the three weeks training with assisted start-up grants. Among the Youth Centers used for these skill acquisition are the National Youth Development Center, Shere Hills, Jos, Plateau state, Owode-Egba in Ogun State, Batagarawa in Katrina state and Ode-Omu in Osun state where the capacity of youths are being built in diversified Vocational and Agro-Allied Skills for sustainable livelihood for job and wealth creation.
The potential of entrepreneurship to mitigate the problem of youth unemployment cannot be overemphasized, as entrepreneurship is one of the viable solutions to job creation and poverty alleviation. The Minister commended the program where youths are being trained and equipped on entrepreneurship as a viable alternative means of employment and also being well-skilled on the rudiments of how to start and manage their own businesses.
He encouraged the participants to use the opportunity with responsibility and good conduct, bearing in mind always the goal of the programme, which is to empower not only themselves but also other youths in their communities, more so for the social-economic development of Nigeria. He reminded them that officials of the Ministry will monitor their progress periodically to guide and ensure compliance in line with the objectives of the programme.
In her vote of thanks, a female participant from Rivers state, Barrister Okirigwe Megan appreciated the FG and the Ministry, she, however, appealed for an increased number of Youth participation with a more enhanced start-up grant.