President Muhammadu Buhari has today in Abuja declared the first National Youth Conference organized by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, in collaboration with private sector partners, open, to commemorate Nigeria’s National Youth Day. The president declared at the opening that the outcome of the conference will be processed and implemented by government.
The President, who was represented at the occasion by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, stated that the theme for this year’s National Youth Conference which is Youth Inclusiveness, Governance, Security and Employment speaks directly to the imperative of the present moments in our nation’s history.
According to him, the youth which form the vast majority of the Nigerian population are in the frontline of every consequential struggle for our future, particularly in the area of ensuring good governance, security, socio-economic growth and development, gender equality, employability, rights of women, as well as concerns and interest of the vulnerable in our society.
He stated further that his administration has designed and delivered innovative means of empowering Nigerian youth, adding that they will not relent in creating more enabling environment for the youth to succeed.
The President said that because of the labours of our youth in addition to being home to the third largest film industry in the world, we are the epic centre of the global and Pan-African popular culture anchored to the dynamism of the Nigerian creativity, particularly in the fields of literature, music, sports as well as science and technology, to mention but a few, stating further that these achievements has led to the winning of several awards.
He therefore called on the youth, both at home and in the diaspora to remain focus in the pursuit of their dreams at all times for the betterment of the country.
Speaking earlier, the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development Mr Sunday Dare, said that November 1 is a day set aside by African Union and dedicated by the Federal Government to celebrate Nigerian Youth, “the significance of November 1 for the average youth and the activities around this day accentuates our minds and commitment to do something and do more for our youth. It is also a good opportunity to deepen youth engagements, conversations and collaborations, but beyond all of this, to begin to act in addressing the needs of our youth”, Dare said.
The Minister stated further that the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development’s programmes are focused on providing opportunities for the youth in such areas as training, digital skills, entrepreneurship, soft skills, internships and access to credit and finance, among others,
The DEEL programme the Minister explained helps to fill the knowledge and skills gap in the Nigerian youth. “Our DEEL initiative focuses on Digital literacy and Skill Acquisition, Enterpreneurship, Employability and Leadership. We focus more on training and enterprise. We have trained close to 198,000 youth in the past two years. The Nigeria Investment Fund (NYIF) Scheme provides access to funds much needed by MSMEs and thousands of our youth are benefiting. So far, over 6,000 from across the country have benefited and we have solid data to back this up. Another 10,000 have been short listed for training before benefiting, the process goes on”, he said.
In his remarks at the Conference, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Alh. Isma’il Abubakar stated that the National Youth Conference is one of the Ministry’s initiative targeted at harnessing the thoughts and aspirations of Nigerian youth with a view to aggregating them as a means of assessing the current youth situation in the country and forge workable strategies to address them.
He assured that the Ministry will continue to provide conducive environment towards the full implementation of the various youth initiatives and programmes in line with the policy thrust of the present administration