Richard Ginika Izuora
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, has asked youths with innovative ideas to showcase them as funds have been made available to support them by Government.
Dare said a brilliant idea can help a youth access between N250,000 and N50 million of the N75 billion Nigerian Youth Investment Fund for sustainability.
This was contained in a statement issued by the minister’s Assistant Chief Information Officer, Mr Olatunji John in Abuja on Wednesday, October 7.
The minister explained that youths must embrace the empowerment programmes of the ministry and prepare realistic good investment proposals “as the programme is about to be rolled out before the end of this month.”
Sunday Dare said that President Muhammadu Buhari approved N75 billion in three years “because he believes in the dream of youths, aimed at lifting 10 million Nigerians, including youths out of poverty before 2023.”
While urging the youths to take advantage of the opportunity; he said that prospective applicants must show clearly that they have the market; resources; and also manpower to access the fund.
Dare added that the process for accessing the fund would be fair to all youths aged 18 to 35; regardless of their ethnicity or social status.
He said that the move became imperative; “because building a youthful population that is empowered and successful, is one of the cardinal objectives of this administration.
“For the first time, this country is investing directly in youths. So, the government is taking a good risk on our youths, which it hopes will awaken their creative and genius innovative ideas.”
The minister recalled that apart from the Federal Government investment fund, the ministry had initiated other youth-centred opportunities such as the Digital Literacy, Entrepreneurship, Employability and Leadership Skills (D.E.E.L); and Work Experience Programme (W.E.P).
Others, he said, included the Digital Youth Nigeria (DY.ng); and Nigeria Online Youth Assembly (NOYA) programme; all carefully crafted to address unemployment and employability of youths.
According to him, the deliberate initiatives will create entrepreneurs and leaders for mentoring in the country.
The minister added that government, through the ministry, had introduced youths to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises; to enable them to be more competitive and be gainfully employed.
He said, “the future of our nation largely depends on our youths; and we must empower them through leadership training and digital literacy; more so they are replacing the oil resources of tomorrow’s Nigeria.”
The Minister said he believed that for the nation to reach its full potential; it must leverage the power of technology to empower the teeming youths.