The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, has challenged all Nigerian Youth to seek knowledge and skills that will help the country weather the current economic climate forced on it by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. He said there is no better time for young Nigerians to think differently, find new skills, reskill or upskill as the case may be.
The Minister said this in a press statement on Wednesday, July 15th, to mark World Youth Skills Day. He said every Youth must seek self improvement in order to remain relevant in the rapidly changing business environment and market conditions.
“I congratulate all Nigerian Youth on World Youth Day 2020,” the statement read. “It is heartwarming to see all the effort put in by young people in these most trying of times. I celebrate with you all, especially those who have taken it upon themselves to invest the free time forced on them by the global pandemic lock-downs to explore new horizons and develop new skills. The pandemic has seen our Youth rise up to exhibit their ideas, skills and potentials churning out innovative technology, apps and products.
“Covid-19 has changed the world in many ways and the best way to adapt is to engage your mind and body in the most creative and entrepreneurial way possible. In the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, you have a worthy partner in your journey to find new skill, reskill or upskill yourself.”
Mr. Dare said because the partnership between his ministry and IBM, over 11,000 people have gained new digital skills via online training programmes. He added that the federal government has greenlighted the Economic Sustainability Plan, which is designed to inject about N2.3 Trillion into critical sectors of the economy to keep the Youth busy. He added that most of the beneficiaries of the Central Bank N50 Nillion Covid-19 fund for SMEs are Youth and that several MDAs have increased the number of Youth being trained on digital skills, smart agriculture, diverse technical skills and alternative energy technology.
The Youth Minister called on global political and business leaders to take the risk and invest in the Youth.
“We join the rest of the world today to bring attention to the urgent need to invest more in our Youth,” Mr. Dare said. “Nigeria is on a new trajectory of deliberately investing in the enterprise, innovativeness, ideas and projects of her youth. The stimulus plan recently approved by government targets the Youth for training, employment, investment and mentorship which will lead to the creation of over a million jobs in the next year. Indeed, the 1,000 jobs in each of the 774 local government areas under the Ministry of Labour and Productivity is aimed at creating jobs for the Youth in the skilled and semi-skilled segment.
“Under my leadership, the Ministry is currently tweaking its flagship programmes, DEEL and DY.NG, to provide skills for a resilient Youth in the era of COVID-19 and beyond. We are taking stock of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on skills development and exploring how young people can respond to the economic crisis. We are focused on helping young people be more resilient to changes caused by the current crisis and in the world of work in general. We are very confident that this is the best path to ensure success.”