The Federal Government of Nigeria has designed a qualitative approach to fighting youth unemployment in the country.
This followed the launch of a four year action plan (NIYEAP 2021-2024) in Abuja by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Sunday Dare.
This was even as the Federal Ministry of Sports and Youths plan zonal inception workshops on the implantation of the action plan for stakeholders from the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory to ensure grassroots inclusion.
A statement by Director of Press and Public Relations at the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports Malam Mohammed Manga, said the launch of the action plan was an expression of President Mhuhammadu Buhari’s commitment to creating about 3.7 million jobs in the country, annually, adding that the purpose was to achieve national development goals, particularly, sustainable economic growth.
The statement believes that ”… youth must and should be regarded as a viable investment that can yield positive benefits for all spheres of our socio-economic progress, better than a group targeted for periodic empowerment interventions”.
It noted 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 was also the underlying cause of poverty and youth restiveness in the country, saying, “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.”
It further stated that ” 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”, adding that ‘… it was in realization of the importance of providing opportunities for sustainable economic engagement of youth, that the NIYEAP was being presented.”
The statement further stated that the plan was being presented to stakeholders as a framework that would address fragmentation, promote synergy, mobilize resources and deliver a comprehensive approach to youth employment interventions, through multi-sectoral collaboration.
It explained that while the plan emphasised the 4Es: Employability, Entrepreneurship Development, Employment Creation, Equality and rights, it also detailed actions required 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 potentials.
” Sectors 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, the Ministry of Youth and Sport will also be convening zonal inception workshops on the NIYEAP. Stakeholders from the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory will be included in the implementation of the plan.
” I urge 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, I assure you that it will be worth it, with benefits for the development of our nation and the global community,” Dare said.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Nebeolisa Anako, stated that the action plan would provide kinetic solutions to youth unemployment and restiveness, through multi-sectoralcollaboration.
In a good will message to the launch, Mr. Jean Bakole, the UNIDO Representative to ECOWAS and Regional Director, said the launch was apt, as it was coming when it was mostly needed as the world faced a worsening youth unemployment crisis, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.