The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, has reiterated government’s commitment to minimising the risks to national security posed by rising youth unemployment and underemployment.
The minister disclosed in Abuja during the launch of the Nigerian Youth Employment Action Plan (NIYEAP) on Tuesday.
According to him, the launching of the Nigerian Youth Employment Action Plan is an expression of the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration to continue to create an enabling environment to generate about 3.7 million jobs annually to achieve national development goals, particularly, sustainable economic growth in the country.
Youth, he said, must and should be regarded as a viable investment that can yield positive benefits in all spheres of our socio-economic progress, rather than a group targeted for periodic empowerment interventions.
The minister stated that youth unemployment had assumed an uncomfortable proportion and its effect has not only led to youth frustration, but 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 transcends 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 affirmed.
He further stated 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 to address fragmentation, promote synergy, mobilize resources, and deliver a comprehensive approach to youth employment interventions through multi sector collaboration.
The minister explained that since assuming of office, the Ministry has concentrated efforts on moving youth development interventions from the empowerment model to a sustainable system that emphasizes investment.
Stating further that 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.
He, 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.