Youth Minister, Sunday Dare has urged the Nigerian youth to develop the entrepreneurial skills needed to be impactful in the global work space and contribute positively to the economic growth of the nation, as he said that in two years, the Ministry has trained about three hundred thousand (300,000) youth in diverse areas.
Speaking to State House Correspondents in Abuja on Thursday, at the special weekly Ministerial briefings organised by the Presidential Communications Team, Dare said the Nigerian youth would also need to change their negative perceptions about Government’s programmes and initiatives.
Mohammed Manga, the Director of Press and Public Relations of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development in a statement said although apathy and a lack of trust between Government and the younger generation is a global phenomenon, there should be deliberate efforts to bridge the gaps that currently exist and build public trust.
He quoted the Minister as saying that, “There is a need to build the confidence and trust of our youth in the programmes and initiatives of the Government. In the last six years, there have been several key youth initiatives and programmes in the different agencies and Ministries. Inspite of efforts to create awareness about them, the responses were not encouraging.
“I counted up to 46 different youth programmes that this administration put together, because we commissioned a research on it when I got into office, so this statement of mine is data based, but only few of our young people took advantage of them.
“For some of our programmes, we had to change our approach and get credible Strategic Implementation Partners (SIPs) on board. These partners are competent, have capacity and integrity. They are trusted names and brands. With them on board we got better results and feedback for our programmes.
“In all the states where we had applications, only about 10 percent met our criteria to become beneficiaries, and that reveals the need for our youth to develop new skills that will make them fit and effective in the global market,” Dare stated.
Looking to the future, the Minister expressed optimism that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration will ensure that more youth become beneficiaries of his Ministry’s initiatives.
“The years ahead hold so much promise for the Nigerian youth because the plan is to upscale the number of those that will benefit from our programmes. As a Government, we will be very deliberate about this.
“The Ministry wants to touch more young people positively, engage them and spread our programmes wider than we have done so far. That explains my call for the youth to begin to trust the Government more,” he stated.