By Goodluck Ikiebe
The Minister of Youth & Sports Devlpt., Mr. Sunday Dare( 3rdLeft) Launching the NIYEAP Document; Mr. Nebeolisa Anako( 4thLeft) : extreme Right is Hajiya Amina Daurany, Director-Network & Social Mobilization Dept. in the Ministry.
The Federal Government of Nigeria has reiterated its commitment to mobilising the full energies and capacities of the youth in the country towards minimising the risks to national security posed by rising youth unemployment and underemployment, in line with global realities.
The Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Akin Dare, disclosed this today in Abuja at the occasion of the launching of the Nigerian Youth Employment Action Plan (NIYEAP 2021 – 2024,).
A statement by the Director of Press and Publicity, Mr Mohammed Manga, says the launching of the Nigerian Youth Employment Action Plan today, is an expression of the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration to continue to facilitate an enabling environment that will create about 3.7 million jobs annually so as to achieve national development goals, particularly, sustainable economic growth in the country.
It said the minister is of the view that the youths be regarded as a viable investment that can yield positive benefits for all spheres of our socio-economic progress, rather than a group targeted for periodic empowerment interventions.
The Minister stated that youth unemployment has really assumed an uncomfortable proportion and that its effect has not only led to frustration on the part of the youth, but also, is the underlying cause of poverty and youth restiveness in the country.
“It is important to state that the economic and social consequences of youth unemployment transcend the youth group. It has also resulted in missed economic opportunities for the nation. This is because youth inclusion is about skilled human capital, social and economic stability, a vibrant and healthy labour force, which will also engender political stability and national growth and development”, Mr. Dare said.
He emphasised that It is in realization of the importance of providing opportunities for sustainable economic engagement of youth, that the Nigerian Youth Employment Action Plan is now being presented to stakeholders as a framework which will address fragmentation, promote synergy, mobilize resources, and deliver a comprehensive approach to youth employment interventions, through multi sector collaboration.
The Minister explained that since his assumption of office, the Ministry has concentrated efforts on moving youth development interventions from the empowerment model to a sustainable system that emphasizes investment in youth.
According to Mr Dare, “this Plan emphasizes the 4Es: Employability, Entrepreneurship Development, Employment Creation and Equality and rights, adding that it also details needed actions in support of employment creation for youth in critical economic and social sectors and outlines the financing, implementation, monitoring and evaluation frameworks.
“The priority themes of the plan, known as the 4Es are, “further delineated into strategic lines of action under each theme, with emphasis on sectors that have high job creation potential, such as Digital Economy, Rural Economy, Green Economy and Renewable energy sector, Manufacturing, Tourism, Construction and Services.
The Plan will also ensure the inclusion of partners across sectors and will create a robust partnership base through which my Ministry will ensure wider reach of youth employment programmes across the country”.
To ensure inclusion from the grassroots he said, the Ministry will also be convening zonal inception workshops on the Nigerian Youth Employment Action Plan, through which stakeholders from the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory will be included in the implementation of the plan.
Mr Dare, therefore, urged all stakeholders from the public, private sectors and development partners to take a risk and invest in youth for the purpose of economic growth and development, stressing, “I assure you that it will be worth it, with benefits for the development of our nation and the global community”.
Speaking earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Nebeolisa Anako, stated that the idea of the action plan is to provide kinetic solutions to the challenges of youth unemployment and restiveness through cross-sectoral collaboration.
He solicited the cooperation of stakeholders towards the full implementation of the action with a view to enriching the Ministry’s objective which is to achieve the goal of the initiative.
In a goodwill message, the UNIDO Representative to ECOWAS and Regional Director, Mr. Jean Bakole, said, “the launch of the Nigerian Youth Employment Action Plan is apt and came at a time when the world is facing a worsening youth unemployment crisis; due to the global COVID-19 pandemic that severely affected labour markets around the world”.
He commended the present administration and all stakeholders for collaborating to develop the Youth Employment Action Plan which also aligns with the SDG goals.